Wegagen Bank S.C, the fourth most profitable private bank in the country, replaced its six years-old core banking solution in an attempt to build a robust database system and widen its capacity of serving clients. It will be fully implemented in all of the Bank’s 239 branches within two months.
It cost the Bank over 200 million Br, according to sources.
The new solution, known as Flex Cube, is procured from Oracle- a known international database and software supplier, replacing its old solution- OMNI Enterprise Core Banking Solution.
The newly adopted solution is endowed with ample, integrated, interoperable, and modular solutions that enable banks to manage budding customer expectations, according to Oracle, a US multinational company that has earned over 37.7 billion dollars in the past three quarters.
Dashen, United, Enat and Abay employed a similar type of system from the same company. Enat is the lastest Bank to adopt the solution with 15 million Br.
“It has wider functionality in contrast to the previous solution,” Fekiru Woldetensae, marketing & corporate communications director of the Bank, told Fortune. “A surge in the number of branches, customers and employees necessitated the upgrade.”
The Bank has assessed various solutions used by local commercial banks in the country before deciding to replace its previous system.
In Ethiopia, all banks have adopted the core banking solutions to centralise and control their operations efficiently. The solution is used to process loans, deposits and cheques.
“It helps to ensure strategic flexibility,” Fekiru added. “It will have many additional features suitable for employees and clients.”
The replacement is part of the strategy by Wegagen, known for its capitalisation policy with the second highest capital in the country, to double its customer base and branches, thereby implementing a new solution that caters to the existing capacity of the Bank. At present, the Bank has over 900,000 customers- double of what it was two years ago.
It bought the solution after floating an international bid. Four companies: Oracle, Misys, Temenos and Finacle were initially interested in participating in the tender.
Later on, only two of them, Oracle and Temenos, appeared to participate in the bid, where the former managed to win.
Three years ago, the latter sold Bank Fusion Universal Banking (BFUB) solution to Wegagen’s peer, Awash Bank for 200 million Br.
After selecting the supplier of the solution, Wegagen hired Profinch Ltd- an Indian based company- to implement the new solution in half a year.
Presently, the Bank is testing the products in branches and training employees to familiarise them with the newly adopted solution.
“It will help the Bank to be compatible with the existing technological progress of the country,” said Filmon Tekele, an IT expert, who has a decade of experience in Information Technology.
But, at a national level, he believes that experts who are capable of developing such systems locally must be incubated.
“This will help the country save millions in foreign currency,” he said. “Besides, it has an impact on the Banks’ soundness as they will be dependent on the solution providing company, commonly multinational companies, from implementation till it becomes outdated.”
Having 2,349 shareholders, Wegagen’s new solution will implemented in a month when the Bank finalises its six-year awaited headquarters with a cost of over 805 million Br. Just two months ago, the Bank also changed its twenty-year-old logo with a new one.
Earning an audited gross profit of 798 million Br, the Bank is the fourth profitable private bank in the country next to Awash, Dashen and Bank of Abyssinia.
Source : Fortune