The Bank of Kigali (BK) has celebrated a decade of long digital journey to financially transform the lives of Rwandans but also launched new digital products for the future.
The three products launched September 30, 2022 during celebrations to mark the BK Digital Day held at BK Arena, are part of the bank’s wider plan to continue the digital journey of transforming lives which started in 2018.
BK CEO Dr. Diane Karusisi said that the digital journey started as a way of giving anyone anywhere the best customer experience through digital and this commitment was followed with a tedious and comprehensive assessment of BK systems capabilities.
“It revealed terrible architecture and very limited capabilities to deal with digital, skills gap. So the journey had to involve a lot of heavy lifting, because we are working on infrastructure, architecture, new systems and construction of a new data center,” Karusisi said with a personal example of having an expired BK credit card but without knowing.
Karusisi said that she couldn’t believe this happened to her yet she is an important client at BK, thus the passion to design and build a digital banking system and skilled personnel as a lead bank tasked with financially transforming lives.
“We believe we are not just any bank, we are the “Home Bank” and we have a responsibility in the critical journey our country has taken,” Karusisi said.
To attain this goal, BK has had to build a Digital Factory and team, which has tech skills, innovative thinking and teamwork to bring out new and improved digital products and partnerships.
The new products are -The BK mobile app, Internet banking 2.0, BK digital HQ, and announcement of the BK- MTN Rwanda smart phone financing partnership.
In front of an audience including university students, fintech developers and finance experts, the BK digital team demonstrated new products to be rolled out.
Shanel Umuraza, the BK mobile app products manager said it has 57,000 active users and is targeting all smart phone users.
Umuraza said the all is All in one- it helps to access all user accounts in one place, for example you can track income and spending using the money insights feature, view your International Bank Account Number (IBAN) without relying on someone and also schedule all payments to avoid delay fines.
She showed that one sees all card details so as not to expire as in the Karusisi incident but also can track credit updates and allows one to open a BK account without going to the bank, among other features.
“We have worked hard to make sure it is attractive to all users in Rwanda, to have a great mobile banking experience and convenience instead of in-person banking,” Umuraza said.
Barbara Kayitesi demonstrated the Internet banking 2.0 – an improved version with better consumer experience while Benjamin Gitego- demonstrated BK digital HQ-a leading application which helps loan access, break tedious time consuming scenarios which require one to apply for a loan.
BK Chief Digital Officer and Head of BK digital factory, Obinna J. Ukwani said that the biometrics involved in the digital move will come with encrypted backend information to guarantee security and client’s data safety.
Central Bank Governor, John Rwangombwa said they are behind the digital services ensuring security in the journey of cashless education and campaigns but want to see more partnerships in the industry even when others have started and BK is leading.
The Permanent Secretary ministry of ICT, Yves Iradukunda assured users that Rwanda is building capability to monitor cyber activities to ensure prevention of cyber attacks but compliance will be mandatory for all service providers after this year, following the publication of the personal data protection law in 2021.