Kenyan bank launches diaspora banking portal


Kenya Commercial Bank has launched a diaspora banking portal offering banking services to more than 15 million East Africans living abroad.

KCB Diaspora Banking will allow users to open accounts, apply for loans and mortgages and obtain mobile banking.

Martin Oduor Otieno, chief executive officer at KCB said East African banks needed to rollout products that would encourage investment in the region from the diaspora.

“You may be aware that most of these remittances are used mainly for investments, payment for education of siblings, family maintenance, building and construction of houses as well as savings,” he said.

The bank says, traditionally remittances have been used to support family members remaining in the region, but there is a growing shift towards investing this money.

The market is a lucrative one, with Kenya and Uganda receiving $800 million and $649 million respectively in remittances from the diaspora in 2011.

“Over the years, we have witnessed the growth of this diaspora market and established a great need for a reliable product to suit the dynamic needs of this market segment,” Oduor-Otieno said.

He said, as result of the increase in cyber crime in the region, KCB was fully focused on making the site as secure as possible for customers.

“Our website is highly secure as we seek various certifications to ensure that it retains that security. There has been a full risk assessment of this product and we have put in place appropriate security to ensure that account opening process, transfer processes and the management of the accounts is secured indeed,” he said.