Capital Markets

Zamara targets WhatsApp users with digital pensions plan


Zamara Group chief executive Sundeep Raichura. PHOTO | POOL

Zamara Group has expanded its digital pension plan Fahari Retirement to allow users to access it on the online messaging app WhatsApp.

The pension firm targets to grow its customer base for its retirement products, especially in the informal sector.

Fahari Retirement Plan allows individuals to save as low as Sh20 per day or Sh300 per month. They can access the funds after 50 years in lump sum or as regular income. Customers are also allowed to withdraw their savings anytime without penalty.

It has embedded an insurance funeral cover of Sh25,000.

To access the plan on WhatsApp, users must save a Fahari mobile number (0709299999) on their phones and send a text message to register.

Businesses are moving into messaging apps such as WhatsApp, which supports conversational and personalised services as a transition away from apps, chat boxes on their websites and eliminating the need to visit physical branches.

“We are using a channel that more than 12 million Kenyans use. This is the app we use to communicate with our friends, family and connect with brands and businesses. Now you can use WhatsApp to enrol, join a pension plan, save and take out insurance,” Zamara Group chief executive Sundeep Raichura said on Tuesday. 

“People don’t take pensions and insurance because they fear there will be penalties. This is the first such plan in Kenya. There is no compulsion, it has insurance embedded and penalty-free access because currently, every other product has a penalty on access.”

The social media channels including Telegram, Instagram and Facebook have become common with companies for onboarding customers and services.

“This should help us to increase financial inclusion penetration into segments that we are not able to because as financial services providers, it’s difficult for us to have a presence in every part of the country and have salespeople everywhere,” he added.

HF Group #ticker:HFCK, Absa Bank #ticker:ABSA and KCB #ticker:KCB have in the past introduced banking services on WhatsApp for transactions like balance inquiry, loan applications, bill payments, airtime purchase and money transfers.

Zamara is eying to increase its customers to over 600,000 in the next year and five million in five years.