Survey: Customer preference for human-aided bank services reverses pandemic-driven automation trend kbaadmin March 1, 2023

Survey: Customer preference for human-aided bank services reverses pandemic-driven automation trend

  • Preference for human-assisted services increased to 15.5 percent from 12.8 percent in 2021
  • Mobile banking preference rose to 67 percent in 2022 from 58 percent in 2021
  • Preference for bank branch visits for transactions rose from 7 percent in 2021 to 17.6 percent in 2022.

Nairobi:  1st March 2023…Preference for human interaction in customer service support among bank customers rose in 2022, reversing an automation trend that ensued from the outbreak of COVID-19 in the year 2020. According to the Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (2022), 15 percent of bank clients preferred contacting  bank representatives  to self-service platforms such as chatbots and the Internet. The shift mirrors the preference for human-assisted services that was evident in 2019.  

However, preference for automated banking channels continued to grow, rising to 67 percent in 2022 from 58 percent in 2021. The findings suggest that customers would rather interact with a bank representative when raising a complaint or seeking customer support than interact with a chatbot but prefer to transact without necessarily visiting a bank branch or involving a bank staff.

Compared to 2021, customers who preferred visiting a bank branch to transact rose from 7 percent in 17.6 percent in 2022. The survey, which analyses over 33,000 responses, further shows a sustained multi-banking trend, with clients having two or more bank account accounting for 48.2 percent.

In addition, the proportion of Customers with Disabilities surveyed increased from 3.4 percent in 2021 to 13.8 percent in 2022.  From the survey data, 93.5 percent said they were able to access banking services, with 6.5 percent of them reporting being unable to transact independently.

Speaking during the survey’s release, Kenya Bankers Association Chief Executive Officer Dr. Habil Olaka emphasized the need to institute measures meant to ensure independent access to financial services for Persons with Disabilities. ‘’Considering the privacy required while conducting banking services, the banking industry is putting strategies in place to ensure full independent access to banking service for Persons with Disabilities,’’ said Dr. Olaka, adding that over 30 banks are in the course of implementing a harmonized banking industry accessibility roadmap that seeks to address accessibility challenges.

The survey respondents ranked Cooperative Bank as the best overall bank in customer experience, followed by Family Bank and KCB Bank respectively. In the Tier I category, Cooperative Bank maintained the top position, followed by KCB Bank and Standard Chartered Bank in position three. Meanwhile, Family Bank emerged best in the Tier II category with National Bank and Prime Bank taking the second and third positions respectively.  ABC Bank topped in the Tier III category while Sidian and Credit Bank took the second and third positions, respectively.                                                  

About the Kenya Bankers Association:

KBA ( was founded on 16th July 1962. Today, KBA is the financial sector’s leading advocacy group and banking industry umbrella body that represents total assets in excess of USD 60 billion. KBA has evolved and broadened its function to include advocacy on behalf of the banking industry and championing financial sector development through strategic projects such as the launch of the industry’s first P2P digital payments platform PesaLink. In line with the Government’s policy on public-private partnerships, KBA and Central Bank of Kenya have implemented key projects such as modernization of the National Payments System through the Automated Clearing House, implementing the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), and the Kenya Credit Information Sharing Initiative. The KBA members are comprised of commercial banks and deposit taking microfinance banks. For more information, visit

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