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Bank of Kigali accelerates digital ambitions with Oracle Cloud

Read time 3min 20sec

Bank of Kigali, the largest bank in Rwandaby total assets, is seeing positive outcomes after embarking on an extensive digital transformation journey, to enhance its product offerings and customers’ online experience.

The Rwanda-headquartered bank, which has been in the market since 1966, now has over 350 000 retail and corporate customers and gained a market share of 29% in the country, due to technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and cloud computing.

Bank of Kigali CIO Rohit Dhawan and chief human resources officer Flora Nsinga spoke to ITWeb on the side-lines of the Oracle OpenWorld 2020, at the Dubai Trade Centre Arena, about how innovative use of cloud-based technologies has redefined its banking model, giving it a competitive-edge.

Once known as a traditional bank, the Rwanda Social Security Board-owned bank embarked on a digital transformation strategy aimed at addressing the gaps and challenges faced by consumers in their everyday transactions, noted Dhawan.

Over a year ago, the bank deployed Oracle’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) and human capital management (HCM) cloud solutions to enhance customer experience, automate its workforce processes and drive innovation throughout the financial institution.

“Our digital strategy is informed by two main elements. Firstly, the large number of Rwanda’s under-banked or unbanked population, and we are looking to tap into these markets by building an ecosystem of customers who don’t use formal financial services but are limited to informal means such as taking small loans,” explained Dhawan.

“Secondly, we are targeting those customers who already use our products and services by offering them more convenient and innovative offerings. While we are creating new digital channels, we are also using technology to enhance and supplement our in-branch channels. Both these elements play an important role in our innovation journey.”

After deploying Oracle ERP and HCM cloud, the bank has been equipped with end-to-end process automation and a unified cloud suite of HR and financial data for a deeper view into the business.

“Cloud technology is key to delivering on our digital transformation strategy. With the use of these applications, we are providing customers with instant access to personalised services, quicker turnaround times and services, otherwise they will churn.

“We have created an approach that focuses on core verticals such as the banking cards business, the mobile wallet, Web and app channels and the e-commerce business. Digital transformation allows all these channels to either work as part of an integrated services offering or independent of each other.”

Rwanda has a population of 12.21 million, of which 7.1 million are above the age of 15. Of these 7.1 million, only 50% have bank accounts, according to the World Bank's 2019 Little Book of Financial Inclusion.

“The financial sector is crucial to economic development and growth in Rwanda; there is a certain reliance on the sector to enable and enhance financial inclusion amongst the country’s populace,” said Nsinga.

“In terms of digitally-active customers, our corporate clients and the younger generation are the forerunners when it comes to embracing innovation, while our retail and SME customers are still lagging behind, largely due to the fact that they still prefer to deal with cash.

“This is why we are still very much focused on on-boarding and migrating people to better and more innovative channels, and this is where educational initiatives play an important role in empowering customers. The cloud-led strategy will further allow Bank of Kigali to drive operational excellence, delivering on our aspiration to provide innovative financial solutions in the region,” concludedNsinga.

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