Innovate or die, SACCOs

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Panelists discussion on the hope for Saccos in the digital era (photo by Arthur Kuwashima)

Saccos which have embraced modern technology in service delivery have the competitive edge in the market however such are not a majority in Kenya or perhaps East Africa as it emerged at the premier SACCOtech summit held at the Serena hotel in Nairobi.

Harry Hare the Chairman CIO East Africa observed that between SACCOs and Technology there is a disconnect, pointing out to the value proposition that SACCOs would offer going forward to enhance their visibility amidst the tough competition they face in the financial industry.

For the life of SACCOs, they have been associated to the older folks, who like the saccos, have acclimatized the traditional way of doing business and are okay with that.

“SACCOs should and must change their models of operations and up their game at how they do business; it is not business as usual!” says Tony Otieno, ACOSCA who hopefully promises the rise of SACCOs saying; ”We cannot afford to kill SACCOs when they are the single institutions who have been able to serve the Bottom Billion.”

Unlike in the banking sector, Saccos have continued to grow with very little technological interventions, but the sector is now ripe for technology driven efficiencies and innovation, to digitally transform and deploy technologies and to meet the changing customer demands as well as transform the customer experience.

“Saccos have done well in past in but for their laxity in adjusting to technological advancements. Their major breakthrough is in Data Analytics and the embracement of technology,” says Joel Onditi, CEO Pathways International. Adding; “Tradionally SACCOs have been the place we throw in loose money but that is changing as SACCOs now compete with other financial institutions like banks.”

CIO East Africa hosted the premier SaccoTech Summit in Nairobi, for the East African region to enable SACCOs tap into disruptive technologies that would help see their growth and not death as a presenter of that summit said, that if SACCOs cannot change with the technology then they will soon be faced out.

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