By Rosemil Oduor
Appzone Core held its first international workshop for Kenyan Saccos in late February at Elysian Resort, Kiambu road to educate the sector on the difference between ERP systems and core banking systems.
The event further created an opportunity to unpack the benefits of their widely used BankOne core banking system and how it contributed to the strengthening of their security, and improving operational excellence and value delivery for their members.
The event brought together Sacco managers, CEOs and IT managers from different Saccos.
Appzone Core’s managing director and CEO Mudiaga Omukoro said the company was expanding the functions of BankOne in Kenya in order to solve a myriad of challenges facing Kenyan Saccos.
He revealed that BankOne had been very instrumental in digitizing over 7 countries in Africa within the financial service industry, hence the company’s expansion in Kenya was as a result of identifying critical gaps in the financial sector.
These gaps include cyber security threats, poor integrations, lack of proper core banking systems, over-reliance on ERPs, as well as insufficient support and costly licence constraints that have slowed down Saccos from achieving quantum leaps in terms of growth.
“We are committed to digitizing Kenya’s financial cooperatives. Through BankOne, we are seeking to automate the operations of African financial institutions,” he said.
He pointed out that with BankOne, Saccos can deliver services and products to their customers without necessarily engaging with them physically.
He added that their digital platform has a state-of-the-art security enforcement, a PCIDSS certification network and application security tools, a threat intelligence and detection platform, as well as ISO 27001 certification to access database.
Speaking on the benefits of the digitization, Omukoro revealed that BankOne has a variety of features such as loan product management, treasury management, fixed assets management and automated credit assessment, amongst other issues.
“To fix the issue of cyber security, our digital platform has a role-based access control and audit trail to access everything in a Sacco’s platform, like who used what and what changed,” Omukoro said.
He added that the platform also has a regular security audit and vamp.
He further explained that BankOne has the ability to roll out exemplary financial products within the shortest time possible and that it can eliminate fraud in the Sacco sector using the best global practices in technology.
The seasoned country manager for Kenya Nickson Momanyi expressed optimism that the product will be embraced by Kenyan Saccos as many of them were experiencing these problems. He metaphorically related the sector to cutting the rotten leaves of a tree while the problem lay in the roots.
Speaking during the event, IT managers from various Saccos unanimously agreed that the IT sector had serious challenges like low staffing and inadequate budgets. They said Saccos employ IT staff with the support of the Board to allocate adequate budgets in mind, yet the reality on the ground was different.