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Sacco’s told to share ICT services to enhance inclusion, cut cost

Cooperatives and MSMEs Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui during the opening of Stima DT Sacco E-House Branch in Nairobi CBD. PHOTO | Courtesy

Savings and Credit Cooperative Organizations in the country are being urged to share their ICT infrastructure services in order to reduce cost and risks while at the same time increase financial inclusion.

Speaking during the launch of Stima DT Sacco 10th branch in Nairobi, Cooperatives and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui said the ministry is working on amendments to the Sacco Societies Act to establish the Central Liquidity and Shared Services Facility that will ensure the sacco sector have access to the liquidity for inter sacco lending, access the national payment system and provision of common shared services to more than 5.54 million members of 176 registered in Kenya.

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“For us to focus and remain to true to our course, we have to share these information, communication and technology (ICT) services so that we are able to have a specialized services provider to handle these ICT issues and give you time to focus on provision of financial service,” said CS Chelugui.

Sharing of services is backed to ensure cooperatives operating in the country spread cyber-security risks and emerging risks while at the same time improving the systems which smaller sacco without financial muscle to acquire the can access.

Stima DT Sacco added three new branches in Nairobi, Kisii and Meru bringing total branches to 12. PHOTO | Courtesy

Stima DT Sacco Chief Executive Officer Dr Gamaliel Hassan said the organization is embarking on expansion strategy that will see its more than 180,000 membership access financial services with ease. This comes as firms cut back of physical branches to focus on alternative digital channels.

“There is indeed a reason and a need where we are saying although the world is becoming very digital and of course we are, we still think with only 12 branches we are putting up with an asset base of Ksh 55 billion, there is still room to grow some more branches. We look at branches becoming an outreach,” said Dr Gamaliel.

According to Dr Gamaliel, its physical branches have been profitable and investment in alternative digital channels will ensure the two complement each other.

Currently, Stima Sacco conducts 70pc of customer transactions on digital channels with the remaining 30pc being done via mobile, a figure which is projected to grow further.

“As a fast-growing Sacco, it is imperative to continue seeking visibility and brand presence throughout the country. We have therefore embarked on an expansion drive to bring quality products and services to all Kenyans,” Albert Mugo, Stima Sacco Chairman.

The sacco says opening of physical office braches forms part its decentralization policy it is currently implementing in its efforts to enhance accessibility, convenience and ensure the operation effectiveness and impact to its members.

Stima DT Sacco has also opened two branches in Kisii and Meru bringing total branches to 12.

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