When Dickson Otieno, a young media professional who runs Tech-ish; one of Kenya’s notable technology and gadget review blogs, first got the Loop app on his phone, he might have expected it’d just be yet another day on the job: taking cool, new stuff for a spin and publishing a review.
Years later, however, Loop, a digital banking service powered by NCBA Bank; one of Kenya’s biggest lenders, has become an important part of Otieno’s life.
“Loop is my only bank right now. It’s cheap. It’s fully digital. You can pay from it to any other platform. And everything is app-based, plus physical and virtual cards,” Otieno told WT, emphasising the greater ease and perks served up by the digital-only platform compared to traditional, brick-and-mortar banks in Kenya.
As the country’s younger generations grow weary of the tedium and limitations of legacy institutions, a crop of challenger banks and digital-only outfits supported by incumbents have found a boon - seizing the opportunity to meet the evolving needs of a young population yearning for better services in a fast-changing world.
With the promise of seamless service and next to nothing by way of charges in some cases, combined with a targeted marketing effort aimed at drawing in Kenyan millennials and Gen Zs with attractive incentives made possible by comparatively low overheads, locals are gradually warming up to digital-only banking platforms, though concerns over its novelty linger.