In a tough call to automate the operations of the Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs), INTRASOFT International East Africa has urged the cooperative movements to seize digital solutions that are primed to catalyse their growth, improve members’ socio-economic development and experience.
Besides using paper-based data management systems for a number of reasons along with overtaken technologies to run the SACCOs, the movements now have a chance to collaborate with digital solution providers as they uphold their core mandate of mobilising savings and extending loans to members in competitive terms.
During the premier SACCOTECH Forum organised by CIO East Africa, themed: ‘Accelerating Automation For Socio-Economic Development’ it emerged that an overwhelming number of SACCOs are still lagging in the digital transformation journey owing to lack of awareness of existing digital solutions, incapacity to use technology, digital illiteracy, weak enabling environments, lack of capital as well as in dynamics that hinge on social and cultural opposition to new technologies.
Separately, it occurs that SACCOs have over the years continued to compete, albeit unfairly with its peers in the financial services industry, particularly the banking fraternity.
Despite thriving within their core primary obligation of mobilising savings to its members while giving the opportunity to access loans on competitive terms, SACCOs still follow the lengthy protocol of using banks to transact with its members instead of investing on readily available omni-channel solutions.
While speaking during the virtual forum hosting the SACCOs industry regulators, SACCO CEOs, Heads of IT and Chief Finance Officers among others, Wambui Mbesa, CEO, INTRASOFT International East Africa said, “Saccos must now start a rigorous journey towards Software-a-Service (SaaS) to increase employee output, stakeholder confidence, and eventual growth.”
Wambui intimated that SACCOs have been unsuccessful in their digitization journey for adopting wrong solutions that they try to customize for their needs but have always failed. Inappropriate solutions are bound to fail somewhere in the course – ‘it never goes wrong, it starts wrong’!
During her official opening of the forum, Laura Chite, CEO CIO East Africa said that Saccos, like any other member of the finance industry, has been disrupted by the Covis-19 pandemic and the WFH order and must leverage technology to up their game.
She said, “Digital transformation and automation have been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Saccos must, therefore, leverage technology to effectively manage the changes in the customer base now that operations are done from home.”
The INTRASOFT International representative also pointed out that cloud solutions, moreso, SaaS will dominate cloud models of the future for the SACCO industry and that SACCOs like all other financial player industry player, must leverage such solutions to optimize profitability.
INTRASOFT International offers technology solutions within 13 subsidiaries globally, answering concerns of volatility, uncertainty, and complexities among others, and ensuring growth.
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