BK Earmarks IKofi e-wallet promotion, Hires Indian Tech Expert

Dr Diane Karusisi(Middle) BK Group General Manager

The Bank of Kigali (BK) Group has announced a net profit of Rwf25bllion in quarter three but also brought in a new chief information officer who will spur the banks drive in expanding cashless service especially – ikofi.

The previous year, BK made a profit of Rwf19.7billion in the same period of nine months.

The improved profit margin was announced during a press briefing this Thursday, at the bank’s headquarters, in which an Indian Tech expert, Rohit Dhawan was also presented as new head of technology.

According to Diane Karusisi, the BK Group CEO, the profit was as a result of the banks clients contribution in deposits, expansion in investments in which BK made profits from the $70m cross-listing on the Nairobi stock market and performance of its subsidiaries among others.

This achievement was also attributed to the different services whose uptake increased, including credit facilities, online banking, BK quick, Ikofi and others which were embraced by clients.

For instance BK Client balances and deposits reached Rwf593.1 billion in the nine months growing to 11.5% compared to 6.5% of the general banking sector.

BK Group total asset reached Rwf944.3billion compared to Rwf877.4billion in 2018.

“This good performance was seen across all our products but mainly our clients have contributed to this success.” Diane Karusisi said.

Karusisi also revealed that Ikofi will be the main focus product to promote in 2020 after it managed to see a growing uptake of over 200, 000 farmers since its launch in July this year.

The bank witnessed a growth year on year (YoY) of 15% and Karusisi believes this will continue at the same rate, but with the main product being ikofi.

Karusis explained that the reason for this focus is because though the bank has grown in branch networks and services, the number of people with BK accounts didn’t increase significantly.

Through Ikofi she said BK will be looking for a new and competitive way of banking its citizens.

“We want to take it (Ikofi) to go beyond farmers to all Rwandans, traders and the informal sector. The whole of next year will be dedicated to Ikofi, which is in line with our commitment to financial inclusion” Karusisi said.

Rohit Dhawan, new BK head of technology.

Dhawan, a computer science engineer said he is fully committed to the new appointment and will ensure that he drives BK, using his experience, to another level but as an experienced banker also use his experience to reduce risks.

“Tech is at the heart of doing everything and my role will be to enable the business to launch, maintain and service these products but also implement the international banking standards required, to allow us serve the customer better in a cashless economy,” Dhawan said.

On the other hand, despite a loan book growth of 15%, and hitting a net $1billion in asset, and 86% YoY for BK insurance company, the BK Group made it clear, that the anticipated move to buy out one of Rwanda’s old insurance companies- SONARWA, was a deal under discussion with some results soon.

“We are going to have conclusive discussions in the coming weeks and we will be able to inform the public,” Karusisi said.

While the general insurance sector in Rwanda is making losses of Rwf900m, BK insurance registered a profit of Rwf1.039billion in the third quarter compared to Rwf599million in the same period last year.

The underwriting segment had a good performance growing from Rwf456m to Rwf796m, up 74% Year-on-Year.




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