Youth Banking

Banking always feels like an old people thing. In campus, the only constant money you make is not even earned. It’s either a little upkeep money that your mother sent you via mobile transfer (after you nagged her for an hour) or student loans that are just that; loans, and thus not an income. So you do not pay attention to banking, no, not really. Not until you get your first job.

Every graduate leaves campus with their heads held up too high and their chests pumped with ego. Talk amongst graduates is constant, and if you listen carefully, you will hear them say they are not taking less than 50k salaries. That’s the day after graduation. Two months later, a friend of you father’s summons you to town and after an hour of questions that you are not sure if you gave the right answers to, you have a job. The description makes it sound menial, you are not sure you can hack it, but because those two months have really taken a toll on you. You take the job and promise yourself to learn everything before you report for your first day.

It does not matter that the job pays 25K, and you had sworn you’d never work for less than fifty, you are just happy not to be included in that statistic that says 50% of Nairobi’s youths are unemployed.

You report for work. You don’t fool around, it does not feel like you have earned that right yet. You learn all you can, and when another learning opportunity shows up; you grab it. Soon you are spending all your days in the office, and because there are never enough hours in a day; you are spending a great chunk of your evenings in the office as well.

A couple months later, you realise that you are spending too much time in traffic. You are getting home a little late and the people in the house are giving you funny looks because until you move out, you are still a child. It is time to become an adult. It is time to get your own house and move out.

Moving out is a tricky business. It looks like fun, it does, and it promises to be-once you get there, but getting there is the real hustle. Real estate companies expect deposits, the first month’s rent and service charges. You expect to live in the same comfort you that you currently experience at your father’s house, once you move out. Comfort is not a mango, you do not pluck it from trees. So if you are going to have it, in addition to six month’s rent (to be on the safe side), you need to start saving.

Mattress bank accounts do little to encourage saving. So you start looking around for a bank that has favourable rates. But savings are not the only use you can put a bank to; you need a salary account. You need to pay the landlord promptly, once you move out. You need fast processing of your cheques, and on nights out; you need a bank with enough ATMs across the city to be sure that you will always be able to access to your cash. In this quest for bank, you realise that what you really need is a bank that understands who you are, what you are going through, a bank that aspires you to go ahead and get that that you want. A bank that provides solutions to all these growing pains.