Kenya Bankers Association nominated for State Innovation Award

KBA's Habil Olaka (left) during a past event.

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) has been jointly with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shortlisted for an innovation award by the Ministry of State for Public Service under the Office of the Prime Minister.

The KBA and CBK partnerships on the ‘Cheque Truncation System (CTS)’ and ‘Credit Information Sharing System (CIS)’ were noted by the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of State for Public Service, Mr. Titus M. Ndambuki, as innovations whose introduction has greatly revolutionized the financial sector in Kenya.

An inter-ministerial Public Service Innovation Committee scrutinized nominations between September and December last year in a bid to identify the most outstanding innovations in the public service. Various institutions submitted entries that were vetted and adjudicated under the Public Service Recognition and Awards Scheme (PSR&AS), 2011 Edition.

The entries were vetted by a panel of private sector professionals with special focus on cost and time saving, efficiency, competitiveness, replicability and impact on the customer.

“We value our relationship with the Central Bank and are proud that we are able to work together to improve banking for Kenyans,” said KBA Chief Executive Officer Mr. Habil Olaka.  “This nomination comes as a great honour to us and underscores KBA’s commitment to modernizing the sector and making banks more relevant to their customers.”

The Cheque Truncation System, which works on an electronic platform, has drastically reduced the cost of clearing cheques as well as minimized the turn-around times for cheque clearing across the country.

“We progressed from a 21-day manual clearing cycle to 10 days in the 1990s. In October 2011 we marked a milestone with “T plus 2” efficiency, which means that cheques between banks clear in just two days. The biggest impact of this positive change has been felt outside of city centres, particularly in upcountry and remote areas.

The Kenya Credit Information Sharing Initiative (KCISI) was launched in August 2009.  It is aimed at centralizing credit information through Credit Reference Bureaus licensed by the CBK. Through this initiative, KBA  is working to ensure that lenders are able to better assess risk and on the other hand customers are able to negotiate credit terms based on their credit profile.

Shortlisted institutions have subsequently been invited for an exhibition to showcase their innovations at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) on 25 June starting at 9:00a.m. The event will coincide with the United Nations Public Service Day.