unna Bank, one of the late entrants to the private commercial bank industry, is set to introduce three new services, upgrade its servers and install new switches for a total investment of 100 million Br.
Mobile, internet and agent banking will be new additions to the bank’s service offerings beginning in October of this year. The bank also upgraded its servers and card-banking switches. Undertaken by three global companies, the upgrade and launch of the new services took almost a year.
The bank invests 100 million Br for the services of three companies
Oracle, an American software company, upgraded the bank’s servers. M2M, the Morocco-based company that specializes in secured electronic transactions processing solutions, installed the switches. Virmati Software and Telecommunication, a mobile and telecommunications contractor for the banking & finance industries, is currently working on developing three new services.
“The new services will boost our efficiency and accessibility,” said Wolelaw Berhane, chief IT officer of the bank, “since our customers have a growing demand that needs a multi-accessible format from our side.”
With the new expansion, Bunna plans to open an additional 50 branches, install 50 ATMs and boost its number of point of sale terminals to 450, according to Wolelaw.
The bank now operates with 174 branches, 45 teller machines and 50 point of sale terminals.
With the new upgrade and technological innovation, Bunna will navigate all its electronic transactions from ET-Switches located on its own premises, rather than operating from rental ET-Switch locations.
The Bank, which is operating with 1,700 permanent employees, is also planning to create a personalized card issuance system.
“We have finalized an instant card issuance where we can be able to address the demand of our customers,” Wolelaw added.
A banking expert with over a decade of experience in the industry points out the bank’s delayed launch of the new services since the National Bank of Ethiopia legalized digital banking back in 2013.
“Considering the dynamism in the industry, the bank is late,” Habib Mohammed said.
The management of the bank established a decade ago, seems to understand the expert’s concern.
“Better late than never,” Wolelaw said. “Yet it is a necessary step to take if we want to survive in the market.”
Habib wishes to see Bunna invent new banking services rather than stick by services that are already exploited by other banks.
“If the bank invested this amount of money, it could have come up with new banking services that are untapped,” he said.
Bunna Bank is also working on constructing a new 30-storey head office at the Central Business District, on Ras Abebe Aregay Street. The headquarters will sit on a 1,043sqm plot the bank leased from the city administration after winning a land lease auction for 66 million Br. [Fortune]