Survey: Banks too shy for social media 19 out of 43 banks in Kenya have presence on Twitter or Facebook

Automated Teller Machine. Commercial banks are reluctant to use social media as an alternative platform for communication with their customers.


NAIROBI, KENYA: Commercial banks are reluctant to use social media as an alternative platform for communication with their customers even as it emerged that a large portion of the population operates Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Google+ accounts.

A study by the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) revealed that only 19 out of the 43 commercial banks in the country have a presence on Twitter or Facebook (or both); with more than half of the respondents saying banks don’t engage them on social media.

And for the lucky few (20 per cent) who are engaged by banks on social media, the only information they obtain is general banking news, company news and to a lesser extent responses to a complaint.

The online survey which sampled 500 respondents countrywide found out that banks still preferred to communicate with their customers through the traditional methods such as phone calls, SMS alerts, email and postal mail.

KBA, the industry’s umbrella body attributed the low usage of social media purely to lack of awareness.

According to the survey majority of the respondent desire to be engaged on social media by their banks through Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Google+ and LinkedIn.

The information they require includes bank products and services (not marketing) and general product and service information.

The survey revealed that though a large proportion of the population has access to social media over 50 per cent are unwilling to share their accounts details with banks online.

“Interestingly while customers encouraged banks to engage them more online, customers remain sensitive to online security with only 40 per cent of the respondents willing to share their account details with their bank online,” KBA’s Chief Executive Habil Olaka, told a media briefing in Nairobi Tuesday.


Majority of the respondents (more than 32 per cent) said they wanted to be contacted by their banks every month with general bank information, which are not account specific in nature.

According to the survey about eight per cent of the respondents have never been contacted by their banks while 35 per cent said they are contacted monthly.

About 14 per cent of the respondents said their banks contact them yearly, eight per cent said weekly while two per cent said daily.

According to the survey most people check their emails daily (42 per cent) while 26 per cent of the respondents said they check their emails hourly.

KBA advised its members to rethink their client engagement models since the social media platform could provide an effective and alternative communication channel.

“In the banking industry we see social media as an integral communication conduit to engage customers who are increasingly mobile and have an affinity for easily accessible internet-based information,” said Olaka.

According to the survey over 90 per cent of the respondents used social media mainly due to easy of access to Internet through mobile phones.

Though nine out of 10 respondents preferred banks to communicate wit them via platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, the survey showed that customers prefer education information that is not related to product marketing.


Account specifics details are the least preferred information on social media, according to the study.

According to the survey more than half of the respondents log on to social media sites on a daily basis while 30 per cent of them log on to these sites on an hourly basis every day.