Kenyan bank to use IT to link East Africa

Friday, August 11, 2006

Nairobi – Kenyan, Tanzanian and southern Sudanese nationals would shortly begin to bank in any of the three countries when the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) completes the rollout phase of its latest computer technology, a KCB executive has said.

According to Dr Tony Githuku, the bank’s technology and operations divisional director, the bank was in the process of acquiring new advanced banking software to link its subsidiaries in the three East Africa countries before the end of the year.

KCB, a former state-owned bank, was eyeing the new banking technology, which it says would enable customers in the region to bank using mobile phones, automated teller machines (ATM) and get centralised banking information.

“We need a system that can grow with us, banking is now a 24-hour service, we need something that can link all our subsidiaries in the three countries,” said Githuku.

The bank announced higher half-year profitability, buoyed by growth in southern Sudan, Tanzania and the above average savings made by Kenyans.

“We think the new technology would cost us something in the range of $3mn, all the other equipment have been acquired,” Githuku said.

Banks were introducing new technologies to counter growing communication gaps and lock out foreign firms from dominating the banking scene in Africa due to the fast-growing telecommunication world that has created new pressure on local enterprise.

Earlier, KCB CEO Terry Davidson said banking in Africa was challenging and that KCB was ready to move to former conflict zones to tap the growing economic potential. -panapress

Source: Business in Africa (link opens in a new window)