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ABSA to invest Sh1.6bn in technology in the next year

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 11- Absa Bank has announced plans to invest over Sh1.6 billion in technology to enhance service delivery, as it marked one year into the Kenyan market.

Absa Managing Director Jeremy Awori said in the next year, the lender will be rolling out over 60 different technology projects, all aimed at transforming customer experience.

“We will also be rolling out a fully-fledged online Business Banking platform in the coming weeks among other exciting innovations across our business segments,” said Awori.

The bank embarked on a brand transition four years ago and set out to fully transform the business into a truly customer-obsessed organisation; one that puts the customer at the centre of all decisions, propositions, and initiatives.

Last year, the bank instituted different financial relief initiatives across its different customer segments to help customers navigate through the effects of the pandemic.

This initiative included loan relief and restructures valued at over Sh62 billion which is equivalent to a third of the lender’s credit portfolio, covering over 59,000 accounts.

“In many ways, Covid-19 really challenged us to live up to our commitments to all our stakeholders. The pandemic has taught businesses across the world that we must really be prepared to live and operate in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous environment, and be agile enough to quickly adapt to changing realities,” Awori added.

Despite the challenges in the macro-economic environment as a result of the pandemic, the bank said it continued to lend to various customers with a sizeable portion of this amount going to SME business.

An additional Sh50 million was committed to various force for good community-based initiatives in support of the fight against the pandemic.

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Absa said it grew its business by introducing new propositions in its product portfolio.

The bank introduced the first-in-market Absa vertical debit and credit cards as well as revamped its SME Wezesha Biashara proposition to play a bigger role in the SME sector.

The proposition offers unsecured loans of up to Sh10 million which is the highest in the market, as well as LPO financing and invoice discounting of up to Sh50 million amongst other benefits.

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