By Beth Nyaga
The Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) has introduced a revamped Business Banking proposition, aimed at strengthening the banks position in the Kshs. 807 trillion Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) market.
The bank, which is the largest in Kenya by customer base, is targeting the suppliers and distributors of its corporate customers, traders, manufacturers and entrepreneurs in the growing real estate sector, with a range of differentiated services that suit the dynamic SME customer needs.
“CBA has had a long and successful track record within the Corporate and Retail market segments. We are leveraging on the success in these categories to introduce discernible customer value propositions that will help SME’s with easily accessible, affordable and relevant services,” said Jeremy Ngunze, CBA’s Chief Executive Officer, Kenya.
The bank has also introduced a real-data credit appraisal methodology that reduces the loan processing period to two days and ensures that SME’s that have been diligent in servicing their previous loans enjoy more favourable credit terms whenever they apply for a loan.
Ngunze said, “Our revamped proposition has entailed the opening of a new SME-only branch on Kirinyaga Road, dedicated personnel to support SME customers at branches, introduction of new products to our SME portfolio, and the revision of our customer management strategy that enables us offer the required support to the dynamic sector.”
Each of the SME’s banking with CBA has been assigned a Relationship Manager, responsible for providing counsel to customers and streamlining processes to ensure ease of banking. Ngunze said as part of the new proposition, select CBA branches will remain open for longer hours and customers will also be introduced to 24/7 access through online and mobile banking platforms.
Recently, CBA partnered with the Kenya Revenue Authority to launch the Common Cash Receipting System (CCRS) that makes it possible for business and individuals who import goods from other countries to pay the requisite taxes through CBA branches across the country, in a move that has been well received by SME’s.
Three out of every four people in gainful employment in Kenya, work in the SME sector which also contributes nearly 20% of Kenya’s GDP. Government statistics indicate that the sector is growing faster than other’s in the economy, and currently accounts for over 92% of all new jobs created annually.