All You Need to Know About Bank of Kigali’s New Core Banking System

 

In October, Bank of Kigali Plc rolled out its new core banking system to support the bank’s digital transformation ambitions in a bid to improve service delivery.

The new core banking system, a total upgrade from the old system, will put Bank of Kigali among the banks that are running the latest banking software and drive growth and expansion.

In an interview with KT Press’ Edmund Kagire, the Chief Executive Officer of Bank of Kigali, Dr. Diane Karurusi, shed more light on how the bank’s upgraded system will be a gamechanger in the banking sector.

Q: Bank of Kigali recently migrated to a new core banking system, can you tell us what was the reason behind this major change?

Back in 2019, Bank of Kigali Board of Directors approved the digital transformation strategy for the bank with the vision to provide the best customer experience through digital. We want to be a digital bank and for us to become a digital bank, we had to build the right foundation. This is why we had to implement a new core banking system, which is the best core banking system in the world because we believe that our clients deserve only the best.

This gives us the right foundation to be able to digitally enable so many services that are currently done in branches.

Q: How is the new system different from the old one?

There are many things that the new system is doing better. First of all, it enables our clients to transact 24 by 7, which was not the case before. This is going to enable real-time transactions for our clients. The new system is also very important because it has system embedded controls to protect our data, to make sure that even our staff don’t do the wrong things as we have all the systems that are embedded.

Usually, we used to have audit teams that would go and check that the people are actually following processes but now these checks are embedded in the system, which makes them more reliable. We have a much better financial crime mitigation control that protects the bank against fraud and financial crimes.

And finally, it allows us to store all the data in a single place. Previously, our customers would complain because they would be required to give us data for any new service but now everything is going to be centralized. So, when you come to the bank, we don’t need to ask you who you are, because the data is available.

Q: How secure is the new system from cyber-attacks?

That’s a good question. We have a number of security layers in the new system. There are many security roadblocks in place to block hackers’ activities.  We also have systems that give us alerts when there seems to be an unusual transaction activity in the system.

All of that is implemented in such a way that it gives us a lot of confidence that nobody will reach the data of our clients but also whenever there is a suspicious activity, we are able to flag that immediately and act upon it.

Bank of Kigali CEO, Dr. Diane Karusisi.

Q: Is this the latest core banking system in the world?

Our system was installed by a company that is ranked the first globally in providing the latest banking systems and IT solutions. We implemented a version that is called R20, which is the latest, just before the very latest version which is yet to be implemented across banks.

We believe we are ahead of many banks globally because we have this version which is among the latest banking systems in the world.

Q: What benefits can Bank of Kigali customers expect from the new system?

As I said, clients will be able to transact 24/7, they’ll have all their data stored in one place and this will enable us to digitize a couple of value chains. Today for someone to apply for a loan facility, you have to come to the bank, which is the same for someone who wants to apply for a card.

Many of these services are going to be digitized progressively. When you speak to our Chief Digital Officer, he will tell you that in the very near future people will be able to apply for a credit card online on our mobile app. The new system also allows us to integrate with many third parties.

We want our clients to be connected to a number of digital value chains even outside of Rwanda and to be able to transact globally, even without having to come to the bank and what is even more important is also to do that in a very secure manner.

Q: Does this mean less paperwork, less bureaucracy?

Absolutely! We expect to have less people in between the person transacting, less paper, less time and more security, which will also improve the experience of customers.

When you have a process that has to go through many desks or offices, you understand that it takes time and we want to cut that time and have something that is done almost in real time and in a very transparent manner.

Q: The post migration customer experience has not been seamless and there have been many customer complaints, what is your message for Bank of Kigali customers?

I want to convey our deepest apologies to our clients because we understand it’s been very painful for them in the past weeks. Our teams are working around the clock to solve all these issues progressively. It is a painful transition but we are taking you to a better place where you will have a better experience.

They can be assured that we are not sparing any efforts to make sure things are resolved. We’ve already seen some good progress in the past weeks with Irembo payment. We still have a number of issues with refunds which we are already working on -many have been refunded.

We want to tell our clients that there won’t be any loss of data or loss of money because our teams are working to make sure that all these problems are resolved quickly. Once again, I want to thank all our clients for their patience and for keeping trust in us. It has been difficult for them and for us but I want to assure them that everything is going to come back to normal very quickly.




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