25 November 2009

Rwanda: KCB to Link Its Branches to Group Network

Kigali — Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Rwanda is in the process of installing a new banking software that will link all its branches to those of its affiliates across East Africa and Sudan, the bank's Managing Director said on Monday.

The subsidiary of Kenya's KCB Group said that as a result, its nine operational branches across Rwanda will remain closed this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) to facilitate the completion of the process which started last week.

In an interview with Business Times, Maurice Toroitich, Managing Director of KCB Rwanda said that the operation will take place across the KCB Group network to allow the bank to scale up its operations on one network by June next year.

With the new system that is costing the Group over Ksh2b (Rwf15b) customers will easily access financial services from the bank across the region directly.

"Kenya is already on this new platform, Rwanda is the first of KCB Group subsidiaries to be on this platform. This will also give our customers a better experience in dealing with us, because we will now be online with the region," he said.

Toroitich also mentioned that the new banking software will also allow the bank to roll-out electronic financial products on the Rwandan market.

"We have quite a lot in store (financial products). This platform will allow us to be able to deliver modern electronic banking systems and have a better management information system to track the way we are running our businesses," Toroitich said without divulging the details of the products.

Toroitich also revealed that KCB Rwanda is in the process of acquiring rights from VISA International to allow the bank to issue international visa cards to its customers next year.

"We want to operate with international visa cards so that when we issue an ATM card to a customer in Rwanda, they should be able to use that ATM card in any KCB ATM machines in the region," he said, pointing out that currently the approval of VISA for Rwanda is only for issuance of local cards which can not be used in the region.

Recently, KCB Group launched a partnership with Kenswitch network-Kenya's Local National payments switch provider that will see all KCB's Quick serve card holders access ATMS and Point of Sale Services in all Kenswitch member banks and outlets in Kenya , Uganda , Tanzania and Rwanda. The bank currently operates 288 ATMS and 203 branches across East Africa.

The KCB Quick serve card is a local debit card that was developed to encourage consumer card usage domestically.

KCB Group has operations in Kenya, Rwanda, Southern Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania and also has plans of spreading its wings in Burundi.

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