By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
In a bid to making banking transactions easier and to promote financial inclusion in the country, Rokel Commercial Banks (RCB) has launched their electronic banking baskit (e-banking baskit).
The E-banking ‘baskit’ is a platform that houses all the bank’s electronic products and services.
Speaking at the launching ceremony that was held last Friday at the D’Bbim D’Bam Conference Hall in Freetown, the Bank’s Managing Director, Ekundayo Walton Gilpin said the bank has gone through great transformation over the years, especially in the area of digital transformation.
He said the transformation was achieved because the right team was put together to run the bank.
He said with the digital transformation, customers can now have access to their bank accounts and do transactions wherever they are in the world and at any time.
The managing director said access to finance points and access to finance have grown in Sierra Leone over the years due to the massive introduction of digital technology that has promotes financial inclusion.
He said having digitally transformed the bank with lots of products that have helped in making banking easier, they now see it fit that they have a one platform that houses all of those digital products for easy access by the bank’s customers and that was why they launched the E-banking ‘baskit’ product.
Board Chairman of the bank, Buffy Bailor, said the launch of such platform was a tremendous development not only for the bank, but for Sierra Leone as a whole.
He said it has not been an easy journey, but that the most important thing is that the bank is creating positive impact for its customers and promoting financial inclusion like the rest of the world.
Keynote speaker, who doubles as Head of Banking Supervision at the Bank of Sierra Leone, Hilton Jarrett, congratulated and commended the management of the bank for taking such initiative, which ensures customers have access to quality electronic products and services and also appreciated the bank for supporting the Bank of Sierra Leone in it strive towards increasing financial inclusion and providing access to financial services, using electronics and digital platforms.
He said the launch of the platform marked another milestone in the digitalisation of the financial system and the Bank of Sierra Leone notes that, the Rokel Commercial Bank has been one of the pioneers in e-banking and has introduced a number of products including the Rokel Sim Kopor, which is the most popular product in the country.
He said commercial banks in Sierra Leone over the last five years have been inventing themselves to respond to global digitalization drive and characterized by customers’ increased preferences.
He said today, banks have mobile apps and other digital services using the internet and mobile networks, which allow customers to access funds and make payment without moving.
He said the emergence of those electronic products in the banking sector over the decade, in partnership with technological companies, has helped in bridging the financial inclusion gap in the country.
He said the collaboration is commendable and should be sustained and that improving efficiency financial transaction through electronics payment, would not only increase productivity, but will also minimize cost and make transactions easy.
He said the banking sector continues to remain resilient in its ability to offer critical products and services,nadding that since the COVID-19 lockdown, there has been a massive push for electronic products to enable businesses and the public to make and receive payment using digital wallet without physical contact.
He said the launch of the Rokel Commercial Bank electronics banking product and services will not only complement the existing arrangement, but would also serve as a catalyst to the introduction of other products.
Launching the product, Deputy Minister of Finance, Jeneba Bangura, said the Bank is leading in the digital platform and that she was impressed that they have done it in a short time.
He said the bank was working in line with the government’s agenda- digital transformation in the country and that the ministry is there to provide the enabling environment.