HF Group: Achieving a 300% Rise in New Account Openings and Offering an Improved Banking Experience

01 Challenge

Encouraging customers to adopt digital and mobile banking channels

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02 Solution

A turnkey business messaging platform to engage with customers

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03 Result

Increased digital and mobile channel adoption and reduced in-branch visits

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Client profile

HF Group is one of Kenya’s foremost full-service banking groups with an offering spanning retail, corporate, insurance banking and mortgage services. With an overarching vision to digitize, HF Group wanted to offer innovative solutions and products to its customers via electronic and mobile channels, in order to improve their banking experience and reduce in-branch waiting times, thereby improving profitability. In 2017, the Bank began to develop a digital platform encompassing all types of banking transactions, and also launched HF Whizz, a mobile banking app for customers.

Challenge

In order to encourage customers to adopt digital channels, to reduce branch visit workloads, and increase efficiency, HF Group needed to migrate customers to online banking channels.

Customers needed to be instantly notified of any account changes and banking activities, transactions and alerts. HF Group also wanted to offer digital sales such as loan applications and other banking products via mobile channels.

HF Group found that they were losing some business opportunities as not all customers had access to a smartphone or a sufficient data connection.

Security is a constant worry for those in the mobile banking app space. The group wanted to increase the security for mobile app users to prevent fraud.

Solution

Infobip’s solution covered all of HF Group’s messaging needs and offered a highly flexible and secure communications gateway to engage and notify customers.

Once implemented, HF Group deployed SMS messaging to notify customers about any account activities and transaction alerts, in real-time.

Security for customers was increased by introducing One-Time PINs (OTPs). An OTP SMS delivery was integrated to allow new customers to access the app for the first time. This added an additional security layer to the platform, ensuring customer data was kept safe.

Customers were given the ability to apply for loans via easy-to-use USSD codes, even without a smartphone. With complete integration into back-end banking systems loans could be auto-approved and customers notified.

HF Group’ welcomed Infobip’s strategic partnership that could offer consultancy on business communications strategy, intelligence, and channel optimization, to ensure that the platform evolved with the business and customer preferences.

Result

Infobip provided HF Group with advice and consultancy every step of the way, so the digitalization and communication strategies have been extremely successful so far, and the Group’s mobile app is currently the leading banking app in Kenya.

During 2018, more than 320,000 OTPs were delivered via SMS to enable access to the HF Group’s app within just seven weeks, allowing them to increase their retail customer base by 300% with convenient and secure authentication, in turn, decreasing the number of fraudulent attempts on customer accounts.

USSD has become the preferred channel of choice for customers to apply for loans, with more than 60,000 applications within three months of launch.

Overall, HF Group was extremely pleased with the implementation process, which took just six weeks from the go-ahead to go-to-market.

Encouraged by this success, the Bank now plans to extend its USSD channel offering to other banking products and services, such as chatbot, SMS-bot and in-App messaging. In order to digitalize further, HF Group also plans to deploy channels such as 2-way SMS and chat apps like Viber, to engage and get closer to customers, and to differentiate the HF Group offering from competitors in the market.
 
“We are very satisfied with Infobip’s solution that has enabled us to increase our customer base by 300% in only 12 weeks. In the future, we will expand our cooperation through other channels, and we are counting on Infobip’s expertise and global experience to show us some best practices worldwide”.
George Njuguna, Chief Information Officer, HF Group Kenya