Rwanda Commercial Bank (BCR) has said it is in the process of installing new computer software “Delta1-9.3” that will allow automated delivery of new and traditional banking products and services directly to customers through electronic communication channels.
In an interview with Business Times, BCR’s Managing Director, Sanjeev Anand, said that new state of the art computer system is expected to be fully operational by the end of this year.
“Implementation has already started because the team is already here (from France). It will take about a couple of months to roll out the whole system,” Anand said last week.
He added that while the computer system is a huge expense for the bank with total bill coming to approximately half a million US dollars, customers of the bank will not incur any additional cost for the service.
“The main reason why we are introducing this system is to benefit our customers- they will get much better financial statements, be able to do automatic downloads of statements to make account reconciliations,” he said.
The Bank plans to rollout SMS banking with the bilingual system that will process transactions both in English and French.
Anand also said the new system will allow the Bank to operate automated swift code transactions that are currently being done manually.
“Swift code transactions will be much easier and faster. It will also allow us to do mass payments electronically.”
BCR also says that plans are underway to venture into revenue collections with a special department to be constructed at the main office branch in Kigali.
During the first six months of this year BCR says its profit after tax went up by 11. 9 percent to Rwf961.3 million compared to Rwf859.1 million that was registered in the entire 2009.
The Bank’s income has been largely boosted by increased foreign exchange revenues, recoveries and cutting operational costs.
“We got good results in fairly difficult environment – we had lots of requests for restructuring and we have not seen that much of growth in the industry,” Anand said.
However the Bank observed that with the election period out of the way, the economic environment should be better for the rest of the year.
“We are focusing a lot on controls and good portfolio management. With the elections behind us Rwanda now has the credentials for better growth - the economy should start doing much better.”
BCR is largely owned by Actis, a private equity investor in emerging markets with head offices in London while the government of Rwanda is a minority shareholder with a 20 percent shareholding.