Despite new mobile, ATM, and internet channels, customers still need to come into bank halls quite a bit, as seen by the queues at beginning and end of each month. A lot of this is because customers need to bring and and remit payments that end up going to other banks either via direct deposit, cheques, or RTGS. Does the money need to physically move? No But the customers do, going from building to building to do single transactions at many banks.
Can banks share a hall like a Huduma one, and second some staff there to serve their customers in such a centre?. This way they can share the cost of security, which can be handled by armed guards outside, and leave a friendly customer interface inside that is devoid of bullet-proof glass (like some Uganda bank halls)
There are some signs of this coming:
- One is the precedent that Kenswitch set, in which about two dozen small banks and financial institutions got together to share an ATM network that their customers can all use.
- Another example is large hardware, pharmacy, and agro-vet stores in rural Kenya that simultaneously act as agents for several banks (which they can do as bank agents, but not mobile money agents).
- Another is the trend of Nairobi malls grouping as many bank ATM’s in one area e.g. at Galleria and Junction malls. There is no true saving yet as each bank still has an idle security guard to ‘look after’ their machine.