Financial Innovations and Performance of Commercial Banks in Kenya
Ireri, Naomi Wanja
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Commercial banks in Kenya have embraced alternative banking channels which represent a shift in delivery of banking and financial services since the alternative banking have become synonymous with commercial banks in Kenya. While banks have succeeded in leveraging available technology and provide alternative avenues to customers for banking services, the challenge it faces today is optimizing the usage of these channels so as to improve on their performance. The general objective of this study was to investigate the effects of financial innovations on the performance of commercial banks in Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were to examine the influence of internet banking, mobile banking, agency banking and ATM banking on the performance of commercial banks in Kenya. The study was guided by agency theory, balanced score card and diffusion of innovation theory. This study employed a descriptive research design. The study targeted44 commercial banks in Kenya as at 2017. The 16 banks which embrace all the four financial innovations from 2013 to 2017were selected using purposive sampling method. The sample size was 80 respondents who comprised of 5 senior management employees in each of the selected banks.This study used questionnaire to collect primary data from the respondents. Content analysis technique was used to analyze qualitative data collected from open ended questions in and reported in narrative form. Descriptive statistics such as mean and standard deviation were used to analyse the quantitative data. Multiple regression analysis was used to show the relationship between independent variables against dependent variable. The study revealed that internet banking, mobile banking, agency banking and ATM banking had a positive and significant effect on the performance of commercial banks. Thisstudy concludes that the banking industry has benefited tremendously from the development of the Internet. The Internet fundamentally changed the way in which banking networks are designed to meet the client demands and expectations. Mobile banking provides a good opportunity to commercial banks in Kenya to reach many mobile phone subscribers in Kenya who had remained unbanked and unreached due to limited access to bank branch networks in the country. The access to the large masses through mobile banking of the population gives banks the opportunity to grow by reaching the unbanked population. Agency banking has led to accessibility of financial service to many customer in remote areas and hence an increase in effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery. Customers are satisfied with the automated teller machine services because of ease of use, transaction cost and service security but not satisfy with automated teller machine dispense of cash. The study recommends that the public and businesses must be encouraged to use Internet banking in their daily activities, including deposits, payments and money transfers. Commercial banks in Kenya should ensure convenience and security of mobile banking through written guidelines on convenience and security of mobile banking. Commercial banks in Kenya should increase the number of agents in estates and in the rural areas. This can be done by reducing the requirements of becoming a bank agent. The banks should employ customized software that records relevant information on automated teller machine cards so that banks can establish whether unauthorized transaction has taken place or not.