Congolese RawBank adopts IBM smarter computing
21 November 2012 | 2055 views | 0
RAWBANK, the largest private bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has turned to IBM (NYSE:IBM) to help transform its core banking systems as it seeks to grow its customer base in the largely un-banked Central African country.
RAWBANK has deployed a mix of IBM software and hardware that enables the bank to extend the range of products and services offered to its clients, significantly enhance client satisfaction, increase its banking application performance and enhance security processes, and cut energy consumption costs by 20 percent. The IBM solution has provided the technology architecture and flexibility that the bank is utilizing to provide a suite of new products including Internet banking, mobile banking, SMS banking and several card-based solutions to service a wider set of customers.
For example, RAWBANK clients can now receive a text notification on their mobile phone every time their account is credited or debited. This is a valuable service for citizens in a country where transportation across the vast land mass is difficult, and access to the Internet remains relatively low. Also, the bank has introduced prepaid cards that enable small businesses and individuals without a long credit history to securely pay bills and procure goods without carrying around cash.
The engagement with IBM is part of the bank's strategy to deliver new services that meet the needs of the largely unbanked population in DRC. Currently, there are only about 2 million banking customers in the DRC out of an estimated population of 65 million.
"This implementation has allowed us to reach new customers while extending increased security options and improved client satisfaction to our existing customers," said Thierry Taeymans, RAWBANK Chief Executive Officer. "In spite of infrastructure challenges in the DRC, this technology allows us to serve our clients faster, with significantly reduced waiting time, and launch a 24 hour customer service hotline."
Two months after implementing the IBM solution, RAWBANK has been able to serve twice as many customers at its branches, as customer information is more readily available. With a goal of opening 10 new branches by the end of this year, RAWBANK is equipped to scale up its operations and offer better services to its customers.
"Core banking systems are at the heart of driving greater levels of customer service, flexibility and efficiency in today's banking industry," said Jean-Christophe Knoertzer, IBM Central East and West Africa General Manager. "By modernizing its core systems, RAWBANK is well-positioned to meet the growing market of banking customers in Africa. The IBM solution provides a flexible foundational architecture that can adapt quickly and scale as the bank's business changes in response to new customer requirements."
RAWBANK joins more than 25 banks across Africa that are working with IBM to drive growth of the financial services sector. IBM is rapidly extending its capabilities to a growing number of clients across the continent where it now has an active presence in over 20 countries.
IBM outperformed a number of local and international competitors including HP and Microsoft to win the opportunity to power RAWBANK's customer acquisition drive, providing the bank with IBM Blade Center HS22 and PS700 servers. RAWBANK has also been using IBM's Informix software for its database and information management. The deal was signed in July, 2012 and was facilitated by the local business partner, Infoset.
Over the last year, IBM has also closed a number of pivotal deals in the region as clients in the financial, government, telecommunications, oil and gas sectors seek solutions to help them drive business transformation, optimize operational efficiency and support organizational growth.