I&M Bank Kenya’s Personal Account Growth Soars with Fee Waiver

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Remember back in 2020 when we Kenyans were graced with free mobile to bank transactions? Well some organizations continued with the transaction fee waiver even in the pot-covid era. I&M in particular has been trending for such arrangement and from the data they’ve released, it might have just paid-off. I&M Bank Kenya has made some significant waves in the banking sector by doubling its growth in personal accounts throughout the year 2023. Behind the impressive surge was the banks strategic decision to waive bank-to-mobile-money transaction fees, a move that reverberated positively among existing and prospective clients alike.

Quick Summary:

  • I&M Bank Kenya witnessed a remarkable increase in personal accounts, soaring from 257,388 to 326,054 by the end of December 2023.
  • The implementation of the fee waiver led to the addition of 68,666 new accounts in 2023, compared to 33,359 in the previous year.
  • This exponential growth not only expanded the bank’s customer base but also paved the way for diversification into other financial services, including loan disbursements and stock financing.
  • Despite the end of the Central Bank of Kenya’s pandemic-induced fee waiver, I&M Bank continued to zero-rate bank-to-mobile money wallet transactions, underscoring its commitment to customer-centric practices.

The decision to waive bank-to-mobile-money transaction fees proved to be a strategic masterstroke for I&M Bank where it managed to reap some substantial rewards in terms of customer acquisition and retention. According to its recent disclosures, the bank’s personal accounts witnessed a staggering surge with numbers doubling in comparison to the previous year.

Shameer Patel, the General Manager for Personal and Business Banking at I&M Bank, shed some light on the transformative impact of this initiative. He emphasized that the exponential growth in customer accounts served as a springboard for the bank to diversify its offerings which is now extending beyond traditional banking services. Patel noted that the surge in accounts which was occasioned by the fee waiver created a fertile ground for the provision of additional financial solutions, including unsecured loans and stock financing.

While many financial institutions opted to reintroduce fees on bank-to-mobile money wallet transactions following the conclusion of the Central Bank of Kenya’s waiver, I&M Bank remained steadfast in its commitment to customers. By continuing to zero-rate these transactions – not charging customers for moving cash from bank to mobile money wallets like MPESA, the bank not only prioritized customer savings but also reinforced its dedication to fostering financial inclusion.

Patel further elucidated on the strategic vision driving I&M Bank’s initiatives where he  highlighted the launch of Solo Biz, a specialized business account tailored to meet the unique needs of entrepreneurs. By offering dedicated solutions such as supply chain financing, Solo Biz aims to empower business owners to manage their finances more effectively, thereby catalyzing growth and innovation within the entrepreneurial landscape.


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