Kenyan Bank Customers Prefer Human Tellers over Robots and Chatbots

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A majority of bank customers in Kenya prefer to be served by tellers to using automated services at their bank branches.

In the Customer Service Survey Quarter Four 2018 released by Kenya Bankers of Association, customers wish to relate more to humans than Artificial Intelligence models of customer service like robots and chat-bots.

This is as a result of the banking public being used to the traditional human model that encourages interaction with customers.

“However, further research is needed to establish whether this trend owes to low levels of awareness about the value proportion of chatbots, robots and other emerging data-driven Artificial Intelligence technologies,” the survey says.

Mobile banking is the most preferred form of banking channel at 49 per cent, while online banking and ATMs rated at 16 and 15 per cent respectively.

“This indicates the bearing of disruptive financial technology on the expectations of customers, who now prefer an enhanced digital experience for convenience, relative to the conventional brick-and-mortar model,’’ the survey noted.

Banks across the country have focused efforts to improve customer service standard, with 66 per cent of respondents acknowledging such an initiative.

In the general performance of the banking industry, 89 per cent of the respondents reported that they had better service experiences in 2018.

‘’This indicates that excellence in customer service can be leveraged as a competitive advantage; therefore, banks will want to continue to improve their customer experience as both a retention and growth strategy,’’ said KBA’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs Nuru Mugambi.


The research was conducted in the last quarter of 2018 with only 6, 121 people participating in the survey, which KBA conducted in conjunction with the research dubbed 2018 Customer Service Week by the Institute of Customer Service. The survey ran from 23 September 2018 to 13 November 2018.

Equity Bank rated top in Tier I category followed by DTB Bank, then Standard Chartered in customer-centricity and best digital experience. In Tier-II ratings, Bank of Africa was ranked first, National Bank rated second and third is Family Bank.

Credit Bank was ranked first, Gulf African Bank rated second and third is Sidian Bank in Tier III category.

Overall, Equity led the pack, followed by Standard Chartered Bank and Credit Bank was rated third, “an indication that customer centricity and satisfaction are important to customers irrespective of the size of the institution.”

Source: Kenyan Wallstreet

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