KBA CEO CHAT - Harnessing Digital Banking Opportunities For Business Continuity

CEO | Alakh Kohli, MOriental Bank, CEO
MONTH | May 2021
Chat Admin
Good morning everyone, welcome to this morning's session of My Chat with a Bank CEO
Chat Admin
Today's topic is Harnessing Digital Banking Opportunities For Business Continuity. The session will be hosted by Mr. Alakh Kohli, MOriental Bank, CEO
Chat Admin
We are pleased to see quite a number of you already logged in! We look forward to your participation and an engaging session with our host this morning. As we await the official start at 10am. you are welcome to post your questions and thoughts around today's topic so that we hit the ground running at 10am.
maina NJUGUNA
Good morning, we are ready.
Chat Admin
Good news Maina! Happy to hear and looking forward to the session
maina NJUGUNA
Besides the apps and online banking, what services does MOriental bank have for their business clientele that can be accessed while on the go?
Fredrick Juma
Many banks now prefer the use of USSD than an APP? Why is it so?
maina NJUGUNA
We have seen many banks having their customers move from teller services to agents, apps and online banking, are the MOriental customers moving this way and what are the numbers, future projections and plans?
Fredrick Juma
How has MOriental Bank harnesses digital banking opportunities to better their services?
maina NJUGUNA
What challenges is MOriental facing in terms of going digital, besides the usual hacking and customer privacy concerns?
Fredrick Juma
Talking about digital, we should talk about tech. In the age of tech revolution, with social media allover, how comes am hearing about MOriental today? Do they have a specifc niche that they searve and not a broader one?
maina NJUGUNA
In addition to Fredrick Juma's question above, how come we cannot find you on social media, and what are MOriental Bnak's social platform handles?
Chat Admin
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our host for today Mr. Alakh Kohli, MOriental Bank, CEO
Alakh Kohli
Good morning everyone, welcome to the discussion and we look forward to an engaging session.
Alakh Kohli
We are here to talk about digital banking opportunities and how to harness this for business continuity purposes, especially for the vulnerable businesses and MSMEs which have been impacted substantially by the COVID-19 pandemic.
maina NJUGUNA
Good morning and welcome Mr. Alakh.
Alakh Kohli
Digitization is very important for aspects of the business community; it is especially important for banks to harness this tool to ensure that they are able to offer seamless services to their clients. In a similar manner, it has been shown that it is very important for all businesses to have adopted a digital strategy and continuity plan to prepare for changing consumer tastes and be able to be agile enough to adopt to a versatile and constantly changing market environment.
Michael Makanga
Good Morning, am Michael.
Alakh Kohli
Hi Fredrick, thank you that is an excellent question on USSD versus APP
eric asuma
Good Morning Alakh, welcome to today's chat. Since the onset of the pandemic, most financial institutions have shifted a big chunk of their transactions to digital channels. Could you please highlight on some of the digital transformation initiatives that MOriental Bank has undertaken during the period?
Alakh Kohli
Many banks have product offerings for mobile banking which are available either through downloading application on a smart phone or via USSD. The reason for a parallel offering is that while we have a very high penetration of mobile phones in Kenya at over 90 pct of the adult population, smart phone penetration is far lower than this with most mobile phones not being smart phones. The banking industry believes strongly in the spirit of financial inclusion and to provide services to those who may not be able to access smart phones, USSD is made available.
David Gitonga
Good morning Alakh. It is increasingly becoming clear that digital channels and currencies are getting popular and getting adopted by the day. What is the MOriental Bank's position on digital currencies and how do you see these evolving within the Kenyan banking sector?
Michael Makanga
Digitization has been the way to go, especially in this Covid times,how is your bank adjusting and helping out?
maina NJUGUNA
MOriental Bank's website: https://www.moriental.co.ke
Victor Chen
Morning, dear All.
Victor Chen
Is this video conference or pure text communication?
Alakh Kohli
Thanks Maina, banks have focused on providing multiple points of contact (or channels) for their clients. One of the important innovations in this area has been the advent of agency banking as well as PesaLink which enables clients to transfer money instantly between bank accounts. MOriental is shortly rolling out a state of the art revamped offering for its clients.
Kevin Mulwa
Hi Could you enlighten us more on the dangers of digital banking. We have a wide range of risks namely phishing, identity theft, key logging, pharming? what measures are in place to enlighten your customers on the same?
Alakh Kohli
Good morning David, digital currencies is a hot topic. While digital currencies are an important tool for investors as a store of value, as banks we are governed by various laws and regulations, once the right regulatory frameworks are available we should definitely see banks being quick to offer the required services.
Alakh Kohli
Thank you Makanga, recent data is confirming that 79 percent of Kenyan banks launched new products with digital innovations in 2020 alone. This is a tremendous response by the banking industry to ensure that clients needs are met in spite of the pandemic and all the challenges it brought for business continuity.
Alakh Kohli
Kevin, the industry is very cognizant about these risks which have increased substantially since the pandemic began. With a view of being proactive, the Kaa Chonjo campaign seeks to proactively sensitize all Kenyans about the emanating cyber security risks and how to keep themselves and their personal information safe. The risk extends beyond digital banking which we hope the campaign suitably sensitizes on as well. As banks we invest very heavily on our cyber security protection to give our clients the safest experience possible.
Alakh Kohli
The emanating risks in a digital environment are very versatile and it is important for us to understand that these risks are global. In an ever connected world, any vulnerability identified in one institution -- whether its in the country or not -- could affect all institutions which is why collaboration in this area of cyber security is critical.
Alakh Kohli
Hi Fredrick...MOriental is almost 20 years old! Our focus has been on local business and trade and general lending. We are now moving towards a digitally led platform. MOriental is in the process of its digital transformation and intends on rolling out a fully revamped social media and digital offering to its clients in a disruptive way.
Alakh Kohli
Hi Maina...we will be rolling out our social media soon...we will see you soon on social media!
eric asuma
A quick one Alakh, what opportunities around digital banking are you looking at as a bank and seeking regulatory approval?
Alakh Kohli
Maina, one of the challenges we are seeing is that while there is a lot of interest and focus on getting digital products, there are always a group of clients that still prefer to do their transactions physically...one of the biggest challenges we face is introducing such clients to digital banking and encouraging the uptake of these products for such clients. We have done this through one on one sensitization and educative trainings and discussions with our clients. It speaks to a culture change which is required.
Fredrick Juma
Why is the uptake of PesaLink so low? Are banks against it?
David Gitonga
Alakh, coming back again to digital currencies - We are seeing banks across the developed world discuss some form of digital asset custody services for clients who want to go in and talk about helping their wealthy clientelle to start considering these as investible assets. Any plans along those lines for MOriental?
Alakh Kohli
Thanks Eric. We prefer to approach all our innovations from a customer centric perspective to give our clients an unparalleled banking experience. And ensure we have managed all our customer expectations. To give you an example, the belief we have in our efficient services extends to a service standard guarantee which we offer all our clients...so we actually guarantee our clients certain turnaround times and if we dont deliver we reverse the charges for them provided that the request is within our terms and conditions. We believe we are possibly the only bank that offers this level of service guarantee.
Alakh Kohli
Fredrick PesaLink is a great service, our regulatory approval to offer the service has come through and we are in the process of testing and will roll out soon. PesaLink is a significant disruption and innovation in the banking sector and we support it.
Alakh Kohli
David, at the moment we have no plans on rolling out any digital currency services in the absence of a regulatory framework. This is an evolving space, once the right frameworks are in place to address the risks, including Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism and underlying asset concerns for it to be a store of value; Im sure there will be offerings coming to the market. What is more exciting is the blockchain technology which digital currencies are based on is already being adopted by banks for enhancing and offering new and disruptive product innovations.
Alakh Kohli
Hi Fredrick, one of the offerings we are excited about is insurance premium financing which we offer our SME clients through digital applications and aim to process the application for financing within 24 hours. Insurance premium financing gives businesses the flexibility to obtain an insurance cover and pay for it in a cost effective way over 3 to 10 months to free up their cashflow for their working capital purposes.
Chat Admin
Hi everyone, our scheduled time is almost up
Chat Admin
We are about to conclude the chat session
Alakh Kohli
Thank you everyone for a wonderful session and for asking very interesting questions. Please keep engaging with your banks and KBA regularly as we aim to increase the momentum of our economic growth, especially for the MSMEs and SMEs. I encourage you all to look at the Inuka Enterprise program which is a fantastic initiative to sensitize our Kenyan small enterprises.
David Gitonga
Thank you Alakh!
Alakh Kohli
If you would like to know about our services visit www.moriental.co.ke or visit any of our branches where our friendly staff will be more than happy to talk to you about our services.
Michael Makanga
Thank You, we have learned a lot.
Alakh Kohli
Thank you too David!
maina NJUGUNA
Times runs out when you are having a good time.... Thank you Mr. Alakh for your time, though we'd all have loved to engage you more, hoping you will find time to return for another session of CEOChat in future.
Alakh Kohli
Asante Michael
Alakh Kohli
Thank you Maina for your kind words...given the opportunity I would love to...and we thank KBA for hosting us on this chat. We will keep engaging!
Alakh Kohli
Good bye everyone, have a great weekend and please remember to stay safe and #KomeshaCorona
Chat Admin
Ladies and gentlemen, our session has now come to an end. We thank our host Mr. Alakh Kohli, MOriental Bank, CEO for his insights and taking us through an enlightening session. We sincerely thank our audience for an engaging session. Your participation has made the session a success.
Chat Admin
The chat room will be closed in 15 minutes but a chat transcript for today's chat will be available on the website even after we close the chat room for the benefit of those who joined late / anyone who visits our platform after the chat. Once gain, thank you for your participation and we wish you a great day and weekend ahead.