Kenyan banking platform Kwara unveils online Saccos digital site


Kenyan based Digital banking platform Kwara has announced the launch of its Kwara Pronto digital banking platform which is planned to help SACCOs at risk of disruption from the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) to quickly go digital, remain in operation and continue serving members.

The platform will be offered free for 3 months and will be available for the first 50 SACCOs who qualify.

Due to government-enforced restrictions on movement and social distancing measures during COVID-19, SACCOs are unable to operate at full capacity. As a result, members face challenges applying for loans, transacting and accessing their funds.

Kwara is offering access to an essential version of its core digital banking platform, which will enable SACCOs who qualify to quickly onboard and bring their operations online, at no cost, for the next 3 months. This is an effort to enable SACCOs and their members to keep transacting while observing social distancing.

Backed by Finparx, Google for Startups, Catalyst Fund and Bonum Ventures, Kwara serves more than 27,000 SACCO members via SACCOs including Kenya Bankers Sacco Ltd in Kenya and has over Ksh 8bn in assets under management on its platform.

Kwara launched in 2018 in Kenya, offering a secure digital banking platform designed for savings and credit cooperatives.

Cynthia Wandia Co-founder & CEO, Kwara noted, “Traditionally, SACCOs rely on face to face interaction to serve their customers. Today they are facing significant challenges trying to operate in this new environment. Our platform is designed to kickstart their digital transformation, and we are offering an essential version of our platform for free, in an effort to do our part in ensuring SACCOs can continue serving the members that need them and get through these difficult times.”

Their new Pronto product will enable back office and front office banking halls to quickly and easily go digital. Staff can then start working remotely, process the high volume of incoming loan requests quickly, disburse funds, and easily get in touch with members.

Kenya has an active Saccos network providing both banking and non-banking services to millions of savers. Currently, there are over 14,000 registered cooperative societies, of which 5,000 are SACCOs. Co-operatives have mobilized domestic savings to the tune of about Kshs. 400 billion, accounting for 33% of the national savings and are major drivers of the economy. They have an asset base of over Kshs. 300 billion. About 63% of the Kenya population, directly and indirectly, depends on cooperative society related activities for their livelihood.

Unlike in the banking sector, the growth in Saccos sector has happened with very little technological interventions, but the sector is now ripe for technology-driven efficiencies and innovation; to digitally transform and deploy technologies to meet changing customer demands and transform the customer experience.

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