Co-operative Bank of Kenya has been named Bank of The Year in Kenya, in the FT Banker 2020 Awards run by London based Financial Times.
The bank was recognised for its digitisation strategy plans that have improved efficiency and enhanced digital offerings to its customers.
Products such as E-credit and Mcoopcash which are continually upgraded were listed as among developments giving the lender and edge in the market.
E-credit is a mobile-based automated end-to-end loan origination system that handles applications, appraisals, disbursements and recoveries.
It uses a credit-scoring engine that was developed in-house and offers short-term loans to those in urgent financial need, as long as they have a salary.
Originally, customers needed to have borrowed previously from the Co-operative Bank before they could use E-credit, but now the system is able to score and allocate credit to any bank customer, as well as pre-qualify customers based on their score.
The turnaround for loans is fast, a meaningful advantage given mounting competition from fintechs and telecom operators.
Mcoopcash is a mobile-based bank account which can also provide access to an existing bank account. Recent upgrades include the introduction of two-factor authentication.
The Mcoopcash Bulk Payment facility, available to clients who make frequent multiple payments, now allows payments directly to recipients’ Co-op bank accounts or Mcoopcash mobile wallets.
Paperless account opening
Meanwhile, the bank’s digital transformation journey hit a new milestone on Tuesday, December 2, when the Co-op Bank launched paperless, the end-to-end digital opening of accounts by customers.
With this digital account-opening, customers will no longer have to fill account-opening forms. Only the National ID will be required, with the other Know Your Customer (KYC) documents automatically generated by the bank system, which will also confirm and validate the KRA PIN, take clear photos, and enable electronic signatures.
From today, when a customer opens an account, the system will instantly send a text message to the customer, providing details of the account, instantly enabling the customer to transact such as making a cash deposit to the new account via mobile phone.
The Paperless opening of accounts has come in at the right time when there is a need to reduce physical contact as a result of COVID-19.
It will also do away with bulk of paperwork that the customer had to fill, reducing error rates that come with manual interventions.
The Bank of the Year Award by the Financial Times also recognised the bank’s firm support to customers in coping with the headwinds brought about by the pandemic.
“While the bank increased its assets by 10.5% and net profits by 12.4% in 2019, unsurprisingly COVID-19 is expected to take its toll on profitability this year. Despite the difficulties during the pandemic, the bank has strongly supported its customers and employees,” the award citation read.
“We continue to actively engage our customers to support them through this period, by re-aligning the servicing of facilities, funding and transactional needs as the situation unfolds. As at the close of the third quarter this year, a total of KSh 46 billion in loans have been restructured to support customers impacted by the pandemic,” said Co-op Bank Group CEO Gideon Muriuki when releasing this year’s third quarter results.