Digitization has become a need in the financial services industry. There are a number of reasons that SACCOs should embrace digital technology in order to stay relevant to their members and increase their level of business resilience. Here are a few reasons why this is the time for SACCOs to go digital;
CHANGING CUSTOMER NEEDS
Today customers value their time and convenience more than any other thing from a financial institution. No one wants to make long queues waiting to be served and filling a bunch of forms just to transact or to open an account. From our survey conducted on SACO members, 72.5 % of them confirmed that they consider convenience above everything else before joining a SACCO.
With the increased access to mobile devices and mobile money technologies, it is only fair to enable your members’ access your services from their phones.
Considering the fact that most of your members are small business owners, most of their businesses need a sound financial partner in terms of convenience and reliability. They would like to get faster and quality services from you to help them grow their businesses.
From our case studies, check out how Harambee SACCO used M-SACCO to improve their members’ convenience and outcomes.
The COVID Impact has hit financial institutions really hard. Some SACCOs have experienced mass withdrawals by their members. In other SACCOs, the frequency of loan applications has gone down because some members are not sure whether they will be able to repay on time and other SACCOs have experienced an increased number of loan defaulters.
With the right core banking solution with CRB integrations, SACCOs are able to issue loans to the right members ie non-defaulters. The same solution also helps them in loan recoveries and restructuring so as to fit the needs of their members.
The current economy has forced most organizations to operate in a cost-effective manner. With the right solutions, SACCOs are able to reduce their spending and increase revenues. For instance, with a cloud solution, the SACCO wouldn’t have to worry about security and maintenance costs since they are catered by their system service provider. This will help them save on additional expenditures of hiring an IT consultant to handle such matters.
THE RISE OF NEOBANKS & MOBILE DOMINATION
Neobanks are types of direct banks that operate exclusively online without traditional physical branch networks.
Today, people are ‘glued’ on their phones and they want to get it all from their devices. Neobanks have come up with some of the models originally brought by SACCOs then improved them and made them easily available to anyone with a mobile device.
Your members don’t care whether you are a SACCO and the competition is a neobank, all they want is convenient, reliable, and timely service delivery. With time, SACCOs that will not adapt to digital changes will end up losing their members to neobanks.
As a SACCO you have a huge customer database gathered during the members’ registration process. This will only be useful to you if you make good use of it.
A digital solution with data analytics or business intelligence capabilities will help you make data-driven decisions in terms of product development, loan restructuring, and marketing.
Your SACCO members have different needs and therefore they require products that suit their needs. For example, a farmer would need a different kind of product compared to a salaried individual. With that kind of data, you can divide your members into segments and offer them products that suit their needs.
In conclusion, it can be seen from the case studies and surveys that SACCOs that embrace automation experience growth and offer their members convenient services. Few years to come, SACCOs that do not automate their operations will be replaced by neobanks and micro-lending apps. Book a free demo of CoopMIS today to start your SACCO’s digital journey.