This is what HFC, a banking subsidiary of HF Group is trying to do, and its journey was earlier today marked by the launch of a digital financial services platform called HF Whizz. Functionally, it is a mobile app that replicates what other banks have done, and that is dealing with an ever-increasing wave of smartphone users, necessitating the need to connect clients to the digital experience to their in-branch experience.It has become a normal trend for local banks to adopt an online platform/app for their clients – and that raises the question: why would anyone need it? Well, to answer this question, you need to look at the past when the only way you could, at least theoretically, substantiate the success of a bank was by looking at the size of its headquarters and how many people streamed in an out of its many branches. However, modern banking has shifted from that school of thought by putting in place features that eliminate waiting lines, angry branch managers and a ton of paperwork.
Of course, banking apps are presently on the last place among the ways to process client requests. Fortunately, HF Whizz is not fronted as an additional paid service as we have seen in some cases that have scared customers away from cutting a financial institution’s operating budget.
A quick look over HF Whizz, which is available to both Android and iOS users paints an easy-to-use app that HFC hopes to leverage as a tool for boosting loyalty among the tech-savvy.
“Through HF Whizz, we want to deliver a frictionless digital experience across all our customer touchpoints with greater agility. It is our vision that the digital banking platform will enhance our customers’ experience, provide comprehensive business functionality and drive profitability,” said Mr. Sam Waweru, HFC Managing Director.
Users can use the app to open a bank account, access existing accounts and perform end-to-end banking transactions from smart handhelds. You can also buy goods directly from your account and of course, request instant loans. The latter can be deposited to your HFC bank account or Safaricom line (M-PESA). Other mobile money platforms (Airtel Money and T-Kash) are unsurprisingly unsupported – although HF says they are in talks with Telkom’s T-Kash to avail the service in coming days.
Additional features are highlighted in this quote by Mr. Waweru:
“The platform will enable customers to instantly open an account using their national identification card, transfer up to Kshs 200,000 daily, purchase goods and services and make deposits through the PAYBILL No. 100400. In addition, the platform provides lifestyle value-add functionalities such as budgeting, real-time settlement, and free limitless bank account access among others. In short, this platform affords our customers functionalities that will help them manage their bank accounts remotely.”