Yesterday, Bank of Kigali unveiled a new subsidiary, ‘BkTecHouse’ expected to drive the bank’s innovation agenda.
The launch of BkTecHouse follows another subsidiary (BK General Insurance) that the bank recently launched.
Valued at Rwf300 million, the tech house targets to focus on key priority sectors, including education, agriculture, healthcare, and the Internet of Things, among others.
Officiating at the launch, the Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, commended the bank for taking the right step in the face of emerging technological disruptions in the industry.
“By choosing to embrace technology, your customers are assured that even as you’re celebrating 50-years, you’re not too old or rigid to fit into a hyper-digital era. I therefore congratulate you on the launch of BK TecHouse,” he remarked.
The minister added that Bank of Kigali has adopted the right attitude in embracing technology and positively preparing for digital disruptions that have rendered traditional banking methods redundant, as new technology backed innovations such as mobile and internet banking lead.
Late last year, the bank created a specialised department of Electronic Payments and Digital Channels and appointed a Chief Information Technology Officer to its executive management to administer over the bank’s journey towards full digital transformation.
BK CEO Diane Karusisi said that banking as a practice is undergoing its most important moment of transition from the traditional practices to new ways of serving the dynamic needs and expectations of customers that are shaped by technological innovations.
“What we see is that with technological advancement, we as bankers are challenged to either respond and adapt now to remain relevant or hesitate and pay for the consequences which would in the worst-case scenario mean becoming irrelevant; BK has chosen the former,” Karusisi said.
BkTecHouse, she said, will be at the centre of exploring new digital solutions that will power innovation in not only banking but in other sectors such as education, agriculture, and health in a way that creates business opportunities for the bank while solving problems.
Regis Rugemanshuro, CEO of the new subsidiary, said one of the main aims is to create innovative solutions that respond to local challenges.
BK TecHouse at glance
Already BK TecHouse has kick-started its operations with the launch of Urubuto Education System, a software which allows schools to effectively manage finance, students, academics, and libraries.
Several school directors representing 29 schools where the system has already been rolled out attended the launch. These are the schools that are actively using the product, but there are some100 schools that are planned to be set up in the second quarter.
Martin Masabo, the head teacher of Lycee de Kigali, where this system operates, explained that such technology solutions is what business firms should strive to offer, saying that they play a part in advancing the sectors of economy.
BK TecHouse is located in the Special Economic Zone and offers other services like internet services, and security systems for enterprise, SMEs and homes, among others.