Equity Bank: Accelerating Business Growth with IT (A,B,C)
Dr Freddi Acosta
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Strathmore Business School
Information Technology, Strategy, Business Model, IT Projects
In 2006, Equity Bank undertook the second phase of the implementation of the core banking system that included set-up and integration of the Finacle Treasury module, the ATM switch and other related auxiliary systems. During the year, they also opened 10 new branches and commissioned 109 ATMs as part of the strategic expansion plan targeting regional expansion and roll-out of the alternate delivery channels. They also undertook a key project described as ABPR or “Application Business Process Re-engineering”. It was aimed at reviewing and aligning the existing operational policies and procedures due to the inevitable change in processes that arises from a change of the IT software. They also deployed and launched the ATM services using both the ATM at branch and the unique “AutoBranch” concept. Just a year earlier, when Mwangi held his annual leadership conference, he set forth a vision for Equity: “to be the preferred microfinance services provider contributing to the economic prosperity of Africa – not just in Kenya.” Achieving this vision would require Equity to mobilize resources and offer credit to maximize value and economically empower the microfinance clients and other stakeholders by offering customer focused quality financial services. The new vision and mission were very ambitious but commendable. But the bank was taking some huge risks in investing so much in its ICT infrastructure in spite of their initial successes. Also, with the high growth in the bank, execution risk and collection risk for micro loans are major concerns. Reflecting on the current developments at his company, Mwangi tries to look back where they have been as well as the challenges that lay ahead. Was it too soon to celebrate?