By Amina Faki
Over the years, Co-operative Bank of Kenya has served as the leading bank in the country among other peers like Kenya Commercial Bank, Equity Group as well as Barclays Bank.
Co-operative Bank always stands out and is renowned for its numerous services and community outreach products that touch the individual lives of every Kenyan. Ranging from ATM, mobile banking to online banking, the bank adapted products and services that directly or indirectly benefit Kenyans regardless of their social and financial status.
Currently, Sacco banking is one of the most used forms of banking in the country. Co-operative Bank of Kenya offers an unlimited number of Sacco banking to its customers.
A variety of Sacco banking products offered by Co-op Bank include;
Co-operative Bank of Kenya not only provides mere lending facilities and deposits to Kenyans but also established a subsidiary company Co-op Consultancy & Insurance Agency Limited (CCIA) which provides specialized financial advisory services to the Co-operative societies.
The bank understands that Kenyans succeed in their businesses using Sacco’s and it went ahead not only to provide the means to run and supplement their business but also to guide them on financial matters.
The Co-operative Sacco banking products work well even for the lowly paid and low-income earners both in the rural and urban areas. For example, we have seen bodaboda operators come up with businesses that flourish, poor children find the means to sponsor their education, grocery sellers expand their businesses etc.
Individuals registered in a Co-op bank Sacco are able to acquire loans to startup businesses, expound their businesses and make them a success.
Unlike normal individual banking, individuals banking with Co-op Bank through Sacco’s are eligible to; low-income rates, high returns on deposits, investment opportunities, build a cash reserve, lower insurance premiums, exciting discounts and e-banking services.
With mobile phones being a tool for everyday use, it created the opportunity for the evolution of the Co-operative Bank of Kenya services and the banking industry at large. The bank has achieved the goal of reaching the unbanked population using the M-Coop cash. This makes it even easier for Sacco’s to access their banking information at any point and time; it has also made the basic financial services more accessible to low-income individuals, minimized time and distance to the nearest retail bank branches.
Unlike when the Sacco’s were protecting the interest of women before, Co-op Bank initiated different Sacco banking products that would touch every aspect of the life of an individual. Now even a fruit seller, mitumba business owner, mama mboga can now have access to loans and can easily save money, thanks to the coop bank Sacco Banking.
With the increased use of Sacco’s in the country, we might just have what we need to shun out poverty from our midst. This is so because the Coop Bank Sacco banking extends, small loans, savings, and other basic financial services to people that don’t currently have access to capital. It has is a key strategy in helping people living in poverty to become financially independent by helping them become more resilient and better able to manage their businesses and their families in the tough economic times.
I would generally say that Co-op Bank is the future of banking due to its Sacco banking products which encourage saving and safeguarding the future; since Sacco’s requires a minimum monthly contribution from members, it instills a saving discipline. Also, deposited money isn’t easily available to members unless on withdrawal from the Sacco, and this protects the savings and prevents impulsive spending of cash saved.
Participating in this Sacco’s can help one acquire investments faster and cheaper that if they were to do it alone. I’d recommend that one joins a Sacco even if it’s for a minimum contribution and enjoy the benefits of the cooperative movement.