BPR looks to fintech to ease access to credit, spur growth

BPR has pledged to introduce more innovative digital products to boost access to credit. According to Prof Njuguna Ndung’u, the BPR by Atlas Mara board chairman, digitising the banking industry will enhance efficiency and serve customers more effectively.
Prof Ndungu (left) cuts a cake with BPR clients at the event.  (All photos by Timothy Kisambira)
Prof Ndungu (left) cuts a cake with BPR clients at the event. (All photos by Timothy Kisambira)

BPR has pledged to introduce more innovative digital products to   boost access to credit. According to Prof Njuguna Ndung’u, the BPR by Atlas Mara board chairman, digitising the banking industry will enhance efficiency and serve customers more effectively.

Prof Ndung’u said: “There is no doubt that digital transformation will increase the uptake of banking products and also make the sector more profitable and competitive.”

He was speaking during a cocktail organised for BPR client in Kigali on Monday. Ndung’u added that recent analysis shows that over the next five years more than two-thirds of bank customers in the region are likely to be “self-directed” and highly adapted to the online banking. This underlines the importance of embracing financial technology (fintech) by sector players.

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BPR clients follow proceedings. 

Need for strong credit score

Meanwhile, Maurice Toroitich, the chief executive officer of BPR, said there is need for banks to embrace a strong credit score card system that will allow effective integration between banks and digital platforms, including mobile money transfer service.

According to Toroitich, such a system would allow banks to effectively assess the level of risk involved while lending to clients via mobile money platforms.

“Moving forward, we want to listen to our customers and respond to their needs in the most innovative and effective way,” Toroitich added.

He revealed that the bank is currently working on “exciting, affordable and most innovative” products that it will soon bring to the market. Early this year, BPR unveiled a new mobile application to boost efficiency, revolutionalise the way the bank’s customers are served by “reshaping customer experience” and reducing cost of transaction. 

The bank recently scooped the “Best Bank in Rwanda Award” at the annual Banker Africa 2017 awards for the East Africa, thanks to such innovations.

Atlas Mara invested more than $20.4 million (about Rwf15.5 billion) in BPR and merged it with BRD Commercial Bank, part of Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) in 2014 as part of a strategy to deepen financial inclusion.

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BPR clients chat during the cocktail. 

In April 2015, Atlas Mara acquired minority shares in BPR and later in 2016 merged BPR with the commercial wing of the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) that it had acquired in 2014 giving Atlas Mara the controlling stake of 62.1 per cent of shares. BPR is the second-largest commercial bank by total assets, and largest bank in Rwanda in terms of customer base and branch network.

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Board Chairman Njuguna Ndungu gives his remarks.
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One of the main speakers at the event gives his remarks. 
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Mani Martin entertains guests at the event. 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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