Co-operative Bank bags 2020 Financial Times Prestigious Bank of the Year Award

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By Boy Matumbai, Nairobi – December 3, 2020

The Co-operative Bank has won yet another financial services excellency accolade and named the Best Bank of the year 2020 by prestigious London Financial Times.

The Co-op Bank was distiguished for its digitisation strategy plans that have improved efficiency and enhanced digital efficiency to customers.

The Bank’s recent milestones include:

In November 2019, the bank rolled out its new online internet banking solution for business customers, investing in a digital omnichannel platform

The platform provides real-time access to account information and the ability to process payments anywhere, anytime

On Wednesday, Co-op Bank launched paperless, the end-to-end digital opening of accounts by customers

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 an upper edge in the market.

coop bank

A customer inserts his electronic signature during the launch of paperless end-to-end digital account-opening by Co-op Bank. Photo: Coop Bank.

The following are the innovative Co-op Bank financial lifestyle products

E-credit

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

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 

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. 

Co-op Bank CEO Gideon Muriuki has reason to smile

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 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.