Sacco leaders urged to embrace technology for smooth operations

Sacco leaders have been urged to use the appropriate technology to run Sacco operation so as to spur growth.

Martin Kimani, an Associate Director in KPMG’s Technology Transformation Unit and a speaker at the forum, told the leaders that technology reaches more ground and keeps up with the ever changing business environment.

Kimani said that over 70 per cent of top cooperative leaders agree to have an aggressive digital investment strategy and intend to secure first mover or first follower status so as to change their business.

“More leaders have realized the urgency to shift investment to digital opportunities and divert from businesses that face digital obsolescence,” Kimani noted.

Kimani encouraged the Sacco chairmen, CEOs and their deputies as well as other stakeholders to embrace technology and view it more as an opportunity than a threat as more and more people, especially the young and vibrant youth are in it.

The youth represent a huge market Saccos have not been able to penetrate through hence the need to deploy technology to attract them.

Delegates following proceedings during a past Cooperative Bank Stakeholders Conference

By employing the right and best technology, considering the everyday technological advancements, the cooperative movement would compete with other financial players favourably.

Technology can be deployed to safeguard members’ funds and ensure appropriate measures, policies and infrastructures are put in place to save various societies and cooperatives from falling prey to fraudsters.

He advised CEOs and Saccos senior management to appoint Money Laundry Reporting officers who, in close collaboration with the Anti-Money Laundry unit, would find and seal the available or weak spots.

The reporting officers also guide in the implementation of internal controls to monitor activities and transactions of the business customers and training of the institution’s staff on Anti-Money Laundry and Combating Financial Terrorism (AML/CFT).

Saitoti Miaka, Director General at Financial Reporting Center, indicated that Saccos are faced with various challenges on anti-money laundry and combating financial terrorism (AML/CFT).

These challenges include the low awareness of anti-money laundry requirements that make Saccos operate in a state of not exactly knowing what is needed of them to curb the menace.

Lack of adequate resources such as manpower with the requisite skill and knowledge for the job and the high cost of compliance experienced especially in continuous training to keep the officers equipped and the expensive IT licenses were also other challenges Saccos face.

Other challenges include high cost of infrastructure and the nascent legal and regulatory framework for anti-money laundry and combating financial terrorism.

Miaka noted that the appropriate regulatory and governance framework must be in place to support the ethics of behavior of individuals.

He concluded by saying that without individual integrity, even the best regulatory and governance structures can be gamed.

By George Otieno

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