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Sacco embraces digital platforms to stay afloat during covid-19 period

A Murang’a based Sacco has embraced various digital platforms, which enabled it not to incur huge losses during the harsh economic times occasioned by the outbreak of Covid-19.

Since the beginning of last year, Amica Sacco started to introduce its members to several digital platforms which helped customers transact businesses without much movement.

The Sacco’s Chief Executive Officer James Mbui said restriction of movement during the first quarter of last year affected operations of the society leading to losses as customers could not seek services from bank halls.

Mbui said the losses forced the Sacco to improvise digital platforms like use of mobile cash services that impacted positively to the society.

He averred that following the use of the IT they made a surplus leading to declaration of Sh170 million dividends to the members.

Speaking during Sacco’s AGM held in a Murang’a hotel Friday, the CEO flanked by the Society’s chairman Hezron Maina observed that use of visa cards and establishment of agent banking also helped the Sacco to stay afloat.

“Last year was a very challenging period due to the impact of covid-19. We were forced to employ new methods to ensure we do not incur further losses. Establishment of mobile banking also helped us to serve our customers without much movements,” he added.

Further, Mbui said the Sacco’s management was forced to improvise the best ways possible to remain afloat and ensure full adherence to the government containment measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.

“And despite a myriad economic challenges during the pandemic times, the organization saved a lot as operational costs among others forms of expenses because of use of mobile and agent banking,” added Mbui.

On his part, the Sacco chairman noted that in 2020, the loan disbursement to customers stood at Sh3.1 billion up from Sh2.3 billion in year 2019

“Interests from subsidiary investments grew by Sh2 million from Sh122 million,” said Maina.

At the same time, Sacco’s share capital grew to Sh533 million from Sh462 million reflecting 15.4 percent growth, as the asset base grew by 19 percent from Sh3.02 billion to Sh3.5 billion.

The County Cooperative Commissioner Josephine Mwangi lauded efforts made by the Sacco management on the transformation agenda saying since 2015 they have attracted many more customers.

“Rebranding of the institution from Murata Sacco to Amica Savings and Credit Sacco is a milestone that has brought more business persons on board,” she said.

Meanwhile, cooperative societies have been the strongest pillar supporting dairy, tea and coffee sectors as well as women groups in Murang’a County.

by Bernard Munyao

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