Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Buna agrees with Indian firm for E-banking

Buna International Bank (BIB), one of the youngest banks, signed a core banking implementation contract with Infosys to meet the National Bank of Ethiopia’s (NBE) deadline imposed on all banks to automate their banking services by the coming Ethiopian New Year, September 2012.
Currently most of the banks have installed or are on the process of implementing their banking scheme, which is an urgent requirement set to involve the National Payment System (NPS).
Consequently, on Wednesday May 30, BIB signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian based firm Infosys to install the system that will allow the bank to commence electronic banking (E banking).
Gezahegn Dugassa, ICT Project Manager of BIB, told Capital that Infosys will commence the project deployment within three weeks after the two parties conclude their deal. Gezahegn also noted that part of the new system package will be implemented before NBE’s deadline. Based on the deal the total project will conclude within seven months.
NBE, who supervises financial institutions, has formed NPS to automate the banking scheme in the country. It has instructed all banks to install a core banking scheme by September 2012 to implement the NPS financial scheme in the country. 
Buna that joined the financial industry two years ago evaluated ten bid participant documents before it selected Infosys.
According to the ICT head, foreign IT firms including companies who are not new to the country like Temenos, OFSS (Oracle), Infra Soft and Neptune had participated on the bid. 
The Indian company is working with a locally based partner MKTY IT Services Plc, which has partnered with the Indian firm for over a decade. According to Markos Tilahun, Chief Marketing Officer of MKTY , Buna is the first Ethiopian bank that has worked with the Indian company to deploy the company’s core banking solution.
He told Capital that the company will deploy Fincale Technology. “In the future, on this product the bank will able to introduce new banking products or services without any supervision,” Markos said.
The two year old bank that was established with 312 million birr subscribed capital has 11,200 shareholders, which makes BIB the biggest bank by the number of shareholders. Currently the bank has 20 branches and its paid up capital has reach 232 million birr.
Eshetu Fantaye, president of BIB told Capital that the bank has planned to expand the number of branches up to 35 in the coming year. “We will open 15 more branches in the coming budget year,” he explained.
According to the president, the bank is under preparation to invite bid participants for a headquarter design competition. “The city administration has recommended that we submit an architectural design to allocate a plot for the future headquarter building, due to that we will float a bid to select the design,” Eshetu said.
He said that the bank has interest to secure a plot in a central part of the city around NBE. The area has become a financial hub of the country. Currently most banks are constructing their head quarters within a few kilometres radius of the central bank.