A key challenge for financial institutions and even more so for SACCOs is providing the same experience that members get in-person, online. Digital transformation has been a trend for a while now and the COVID pandemic has undoubtedly escalated the demand for digital solutions. But how can SACCOs build digital products fit for their members, and at the same time maintain their bottom line, become competitive and ever more resilient?
At the Safaricom Guru Series which took place at the CIO Africa Saccotech Forum and was moderated by DX⁵ CEO, Kelly Bentley, industry experts Phides Nyamohanga, Manager, Managed Cybersecurity Services, Safaricom PLC, Nyasha Mtsekwa, Regional Sales Executive, EA, AdaptIT, George Ngujuna, CIO, Safaricom PLC and Dr Bright Mawudor, CTO, Xetova urged digital SACCOs to build resilience to serve their members better.
So how can digital SACCOs achieve resilience?
According to the experts, digital SACCOs can build resilience by offering the best member experience, giving them the best competitive edge and managing costs through automation.
“SACCOs must ensure that members have a seamless experience when using products; services must be always available regardless of the time, location and channel used. In cost management, SACCOs should automate repetitive tasks such as FAQs,” Phides said.
From a cybersecurity perspective, Dr Bright explained that resilience means that members of a digital SACCO can securely access services. He advised digital SACCOs, “From a cybersecurity angle, resilience is being proactive. Digital SACCOs should be able to identify attacks way before they happen and ways to recover from cybersecurity attacks,” he said.
Phides advised digital SACCOs to develop a cybersecurity culture that incorporates all levels of their organisations.
“All members must understand where cybersecurity fits in their line of work. Organisations need to do cybersecurity training. They should hire the right cybersecurity experts and choose the right vendors to work with,” she said.
George urged digital SACCOs to engage customers to understand their pain points are and areas that they should improve on.
“One of the pitfalls for digital transformation is designing and having conversations only in the boardroom and the head office. You need to engage with customers to know where their pain points are,” he said.
According to Nyasha, digital SACCOs can only achieve resilience when they provide an innovative environment to their employees.
“CEOs should ask themselves how are they providing an innovative, results-driven environment for their employees they have and as they innovate, how are they taking the innovations to their members? When CEOs listen to their talent, digital resilience becomes not just a buzzword but an ingrained culture within the SACCO,” he stated.
The annual CIO Africa SaccoTech forum brings together industry leaders to explore new technologies modifying the SACCO landscape and look at various technology use-cases.