Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) has been honoured by Computerworld Honors Program with the 21st Century Achievement Award in emerging technology for its M-Shwari project, at a gala award ceremony held in Washington DC.
The Computerworld Honors Program recognises organizations that use information technology to promote and advance public welfare, benefit society and business, and change the world for the better.
M-Shwari project won the 21st Century Achievement Award in emerging technology. One Laureate from each of the eleven categories was singled out for special recognition by the Program Judges as the best in their category. This year's eleven categories included economic development, emerging technology, health, innovation, mobile access amongst others. In total, 267 Laureates from more than 700 nominations were honoured.
"We at CBA are truly honoured to have won the emerging technology award. It is through technology and innovation that CBA operations are founded upon and we believe that M-Shwari will continue to stimulate innovation and growth to the financial services industry," said CBA's Group MD, Isaac Awuondo.
Innovative SME financial services offered through ICT support have allowed banks like CBA to explore various delivery channels and new products that have made banking simpler and more convenient for the customer.
All Laureates were selected after a thorough application and review process. A panel of judges, made up of IT executives and Computerworld editors, chose the five finalists in each category, and from those, one 21st Century Achievement Award winner in each group.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Vinton Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist from Google, congratulated the 2013 Laureate class.
"The men and women being celebrated this evening went beyond ideas and beyond technology and executed extraordinary projects."
Laureates were recognized publicly with a medallion inscribed with the Program's mission, "A Search for New Heroes" and their case studies will be formally inducted into the program's International Archives.
"Computerworld is honoured to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of the 2013 class of Laureates and to share their work. These projects demonstrate how IT can advance organizations' ability to compete, innovate, communicate and prosper," said John Amato, Vice President and Publisher, Computerworld.
M-Shwari has also won 'Best Bank in Product Innovation in the 2013 Banking Awards'. Leveraging the Temenos Integration Framework, CBA's M-Shwari mobile banking product was implemented, integrated and launched in 5 months, and immediately achieved success having more than 850,000 customers in the first 3 weeks and took more than a Sh1billion in new deposits and processing more than 5 million transactions.
Mobile Money Transfer was introduced in Kenya in 2007 through M-Pesa; a service whose time had come and whose implementation occurred in the right market. Five years later, CBA in partnership with Safaricom launched M-Shwari.
The launch of M-Shwari saw CBA integrate its core banking system with the government's population registry system to enable customer verification. CBA also had to enable integration and communication of various systems managed by different organizations and residing in different geographical locations.
The product has improved the lives of many Kenyans and offer money lending services at an affordable cost.