Computer giant IBM this week signed five contracts with Kenya’s largest banks in an effort to provide new IT services to the banking sector in the country.
The deals with Credit Bank, Co-operative Bank, Family Bank, First National Bank of Kenya and National Industrial Credit Bank aim to boost the company’s push into Africa.
“Throughout Africa, we are seeing increasing signals that more banks are keen to take advantage of the growing number of customers who own a mobile phone or can access the Internet to deliver financial services using the medium,” said Tony Mwai, country general manager for IBM in East Africa, in a statement from the company.
“The growth in the number of customer accounts has driven more banks to modernize their core banking software to handle the volumes and integrate their transaction banking with mobile channels,” Mwai said.
“We have helped banks transform their systems to accommodate these new services in a cross-section of some of Africa’s biggest markets.”
The new deals are aimed at enabling IBM to promote and push its products in the country through the banking sector, which has recently become more in turn to mobile money and the need to boost the IT capabilities is a vital component of the sector, said National Industrial Credit Bank official Girta Vashpani.
She told IT News Africa that working with IBM “will allow us to up our ability to provide better services to our customers through new technologies.”
“Already it is possible for farmers to purchase crop insurance using a mobile phone, without physically ever going to see an agent,” Mwai said.
“Kenyans can start savings accounts on their mobile phones without ever having to visit a bank branch, and there are now over 400 Kenyan companies that accept mobile payments for goods and services.”