Kenya Bankers Association signs partners to Promote Financial Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities
A new program that seeks to promote access to financial services for persons with disabilities (PWDs) has been launched in Kenya
A new programme that seeks to promote access to financial services for persons with disabilities (PWDs) has been launched in Kenya.
Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) in partnership with a host of other organizations launched the initiative in August with the aim of identifying major accessibility challenges persons with disabilities face while using banking service channels.
The partners are US-based technology-focused Georgia Institute of Technology and non-profit organization inABLE.
KBA’s CEO Habil Olaka said the programme seeks to assess Persons with disability’s access challenges using the sample of seven banks.
The accessibility areas of focus include websites, mobile applications, online banking channels, bank statements, ATMs, social media, as well as employment software applications.
“Persons with Disabilities are an integral part of the banking public and we are delighted to work with our partners to promote inclusive banking through customised technological innovation and sector-wide efficiency programs,” Olaka said.
The project will be jointly funded by the banking industry and FSD Kenya.
Under the deal, inABLE will provide technical support in reviewing the accessibility of banks’ service channels, providing recommendations on how the platforms can be customised to align with the accessibility needs of PWDs in line with global best practices and standards.
The sample banks that will be involved in the programme are Absa Kenya, Standard Chartered Bank, Rafiki Microfinance Bank, Family Bank, Cooperative Bank, Equity Bank and KCB Bank which have volunteered to take part in the pilot stage.
The next phase will consist in reviewing the recommendations for application across the banking sector.
FSD Kenya Chief Executive Officer, Tamara Cook, noted that the project bodes well with the institution’s efforts towards harnessing financial solutions and making financial markets work better.
“FSD Kenya believes in this initiative because Persons with Disabilities are a key group that is underserved by the range of products available in the financial market. While it is important to increase access, financial inclusion is not an end to itself. We seek to identify how finance can be a true enabler that helps them solve real world problems,” said Cook.
According to the 2019 census, an estimated 2.2 percent – 0.9 million people – in the country live with some form of disability.