About 90 percent of Bank of Kigali (BK) customers will access their services on digital channels within the next year, CEO Dr Diane Karusisi has said.
Heavy investment in modern IT infrastructure in recent years has enabled 70% of BK’s clients to currently transact on digital channels but the bank intends to digitize nearly all its operations, to enable 9 out of every 10 customers to transact remotely by 2025.
“It is enabling us to provide services remotely and people can access our self-service channels and it is enabling us to grow without necessarily growing our branch footprint or even our staff,” said Dr Karusisi.
Upgrade of the bank’s IT system has improved efficiencies helping to cut the cost-to-income ratio to 40% despite steady growth in assets and the client base.
Digitization has also enabled the Rwanda Stock Exchange and Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed entities to offer a wider array of services.
“We want by 2025 to have all our services automated, to be fully digital where someone can buy market shares, insurance, and others online,” said Dr Karusisi.
In March last year, the lender announced that the volume of transactions handled on the Bank of Kigali (BK) Mobile App had increased tenfold in three months following the launch of the bank’s upgraded digital system.
Launched on September 30, 2022, the upgraded digital system has unique biometric recognition capabilities.
The USSD version of BK Mobile officially went live in February last year.
It offers interbank transfers capability through the “BK to other banks” feature.
“This new feature set is expected to revolutionize the way people conduct financial transactions, making it easier, faster, and more convenient than ever before,” said Dr. Karusisi then.
Internet Banking 2.0 and BK Digital Lending also allow customers to conduct several transactions including transfers and scheduling of advance payments.
Account opening time was reduced to just a few minutes from more than an hour previously following the upgrade of the core infrastructure.
The bank in mid-October 2022 signed a partnership with World First Asia to enable its customers to send money instantly to China at a fraction of the cost of other cash transfer services in the market.
BK’s integration with China’s Ali Pay, a third-party online payment solution owned by Ant Financial, a subsidiary of World First Asia, enables account holders to send money from Rwanda to China instantly through Ali Pay.
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