IBM in partnership with five Kenya-based banks

IBM has announced details of five strategic agreements in the Kenyan financial services sector as banks across Africa turn to advanced technologies to support rapid growth, increase profitability and launch innovative new services such as mobile and internet banking.
According to a media release, over the last six months, IBM has signed contracts with five of Kenya’s – Credit Bank, Co-operative Bank, Family Bank, National Bank of Kenya and National Industrial Credit (NIC) Bank.

The agreements are amongst more than 20 similar deals that IBM has signed with banks across Africa in 2011 in line with the rapid growth of the financial services sector and as technology enables a wave of innovation in African banking.

“Africa is currently experiencing strong uptake in banking services in line with the growth of the continent’s middle class and the adoption of mobile and internet banking. Advanced technologies are helping to drive a wave of innovation across the African financial services sector as banks create new and accessible banking channels and take banking services to previously unbanked parts of society,” said Anthony Mwai, IBM East
Africa country general manager.

According to analysts Africa’s financial services sector is currently worth over $ 100 billion and will continue to grow double digit to 2020, outpacing gross Africa’s domestic product growth.  Retail banking is currently the fastest growing segment predicted to grow at 18 per cent between 2009 and 2020 as demand for deposit accounts and sophisticated products jumps amid
urbanization.1

As part of the deal, IBM supplied Co-Operative Bank with Power Systems as well as storage and
software as part of a major overhaul of the bank’s systems while its agreement with National Bank of Kenya includes provision of IT services, hardware as well as software as the bank delivers on program of business transformation.

Family Bank and IBM signed an agreement to support the bank’s drive to reach new markets and
launch new products and services. The bank’s regional expansion plan, alongside its introduction of new services such as mobile banking and mortgage facilities, has led the firm to transform its IT systems ahead of a planned listing on the Nairobi Securities Exchange in 2012.

Credit Bank has implemented IBM’s new core banking system to enable it rethink business processes and improve operational efficiency. Under the terms of the agreement, IBM will provide hardware, software as well as consultancy and services for the implementation, integration and maintenance of the new system.

On the other hand, NIC Bank selected IBM technologies to help streamline the bank’s core
banking processes and integrate its existing IT solutions to drive operational efficiencies and improve customer service.

Regionally, IBM in early 2011 announced details of other banking deals with the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia and the National Microfinance Bank of Tanzania.