Barclays Kenya introduces new mobile app

Jeremy Awori; Would you trust this man to give you a secure app?
Jeremy Awori; Would you trust this man to give you a secure app?

Barclays Kenya has a new mobile app in the market. Is this a good thing? It can’t hurt. My relationship with Barclays has always been iffy to say the very least. I had an account at the UK when I spent some time in London at the turn of the century and I have to say that I really had a great experience with the bank. My most enjoyable one was when I was opening the account. There was a little line of like six people queuing up for their services and the bank manager comes from the back apologising profusely. What was the reason for the apology? The line was too long. Having just left KCB bank, home of two hour queues as standard at home it was quite amusing to see this man joining the tellers to serve us. It was the first time I experienced banking that didn’t involve waiting for hours on end.

Then off course Barclays are the sponsors of the most watched sports league on the planet; The Barclays Premier league. Which we all watch religiously and some of us are suffering some serious withdrawal symptoms from the lack of our usual EPL action. It shall be August before we know it I suppose.

Then there is the not so attractive part of the Barclays experience where the Kenyan operation was concerned. The bank closed branches in the 1990s and they also kicked people out who were not in the right money bracket which I didn’t appreciate. If you did not have a certain amount of money Barclays Kenya was not for you and I always resented them for looking down on me for not being a millionaire. Yet. Which is why even when I moved back after my UK sojourn I never went anywhere near the blue eagle or their evil cousin.

In recent times the bank has discovered the error of their ways and started wooing Kenyans back to their doors. Even those who sometimes have zero bank balance like me. It’s been a quiet thing with branches opening in areas where you would never have imagined. Then they were the folks who introduced that free ATM transactions, mobile banking and internet thing which was supposed to be a game changer.

Then yesterday their new Manchester United supporting Barclays Kenya CEO Jeremy Awori sat down with a whole bunch of bloggers and introduced a new offering from his organisation. The presentation at the Barclays office on Waiyaki Way saw us going through the new product which allows you to access internet banking from your devices. This one includes not just the website but a mobile app. With the app you can transfer money to other bank accounts – think rent, school fees – without leaving the comfort of your… well comfort zone. This is should you be on any device be it tablet or Smartphone.

The CEO informs us it’s still in the trial phase but should be pretty safe. There are those who have issues with security of their funds if hacked but the whole team informed me that if the app is used I am as safe as if I was using an ATM. That comforts me a bit. Or not.

The new app comes in the Android platform so I suggest that y’all go to the Google Play Store and download it and try it out. This is assuming off course that you are a Barclays customer. Which is what I am currently reconsidering my options after my meeting with the friendly folks at Barclays Kenya…