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With a new brand, Access Bank Rwanda reaffirms its promise of quality services

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Is it about ending the year in style and making sure that there is something good to close the year with? That is a question some customers who were present at the launch of Access Bank’s new brand, change of logo looks, in order to command more relevance as the local subsidiary of Nigerian Access Bank Plc shared on December 12th 2014, kept asking or in some cases wondered without saying.

But much as the evening was an opportunity for the local banker to mingle with the market, regulators, competitors and customers, the changes in the company’s branding is an outward reflection of an inside effort to renovate and improve.

First, there was a change of the background color on the company’s logo to white, which gesture according to the institution is an expression of the openness and transparency that the banker wishes to push for, everywhere it operates specifically in Rwanda.

According to Mr. Jean Claude Karekezi, the Managing Director of Access Bank Rwanda, changing the brand is an explicit way to communicate the bank’s new five-year strategic plan beginning this coming New Year 2015.

“We have developed a new strategic plan for the next five years and naturally, it was necessary that we follow this with a new brand look to reflect the vibrancy and quality that our plan intends to bring into the Rwandan financial landscape.”

Generally however, Access Bank’s new brand look communicates the renewed focus on Speed, Service quality, and Security which can be considered the 3Ss of Access Bank’s five year strategy.

Explaining the 3S focus, Mr. Chris Osisiogu, the bank’s Chief Operations Officer said that they intend to offer high speed in terms of delivery so as to ensure that customers experience swift and seamless services, streamline the provision of services to factor in the demands and requirements of specific customers and market segments, and ensure high security standards in an era where electronic fraud knocks in every corner.

“And we want our customers to hold us accountable to the promise we have made, a promise of the highest quality in every financial service we offer and of continued creativity to beat prevailing standards, even our own for better.”

Speaking of the new strategies, Karekezi said that the bank is ready to pursue an ambitious and bold future in the next half decade.

For instance, the Access Bank Rwanda Managing Director shared that starting next year; the institution will begin to engage in retail banking, meaning directing more products and services to individuals even with smaller financial support needs.

Traditionally, Access Bank has been known to many Rwandans as the master of corporate banking, but now intends to showcase its mastery of retail banking as well.

To achieve the dream, there is going to be strong partnership with Microfinance Institutions across the country, especially the many Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) that have been opened across Rwanda in efforts to push forward the agenda of attaining 100% financial inclusion.

Also as Karekezi shared, there is going to be additional emphasis laid on electronic banking, bringing on board new developments in electronic payments and pushing to contribute in the realization of a cashless economy for Rwanda.

Access Bank is credited to have been the first financial institution to offer credit cards in Rwanda, a bold move indeed and one that places it in a category only set for the brave and determined bankers ready to go the extra mile in order to present to Rwandans the best quality of banking services.

To launch the new Access Bank Rwanda look, Rwanda’s Central Bank Governor John Rwangombwa appreciated the appetite for innovation and improvement that the new development expresses but also implored Access and other financial institutions, and customers to do even more, in order for the country to meet its financial sector targets.

Mr. Rwangombwa stressed the role that customers have to play in the development of the sector, first by understanding that a service provider does not do so as a form of charity but rather a business deal and thus the former ensuring that they demand for the best of; rates (interest), service quality among others.

With the new look, Access Bank aspires to be in the first three ranks of best performing banks in Rwanda and in all aspects; of market share and asset value.

But as Karenzi shared, as much as they target to increase their market share significantly in the next half decade, the constant factor in the equation will be ensuring that every one of those customers is served with highest quality standards possible.

Besides the new logo, Mr. Karekezi disclosed that there will be increased injection of more share capital to a tune of US$10 million.

Access Bank Rwanda’s share capital currently stands at $13 million.

Also a peep in the bank’s loan portfolio as offered by the MD reveals another health aspect to rejoice about, the Non Performing Loan value is at 1%, way lower than Rwanda’s Central Bank minimum rate of 5%, implying that the bank offers all necessary follow up and financial support to customers to ensure they perform to their best and make sustainable growth possible.

Access Bank Rwanda is one of the largest banks in the country.

The brand was established in 2009 after the Access Bank Group Plc, acquired 75% stake in BANCOR SA Rwanda which was founded in 1995 giving the bank close to 20 years of experience in serving the Rwandan market.

With seven branches across Rwanda and more in pipeline, Access Bank offers financial services to personal and business clients including among others current accounts, savings accounts, loans, trade finance, letters of credit, and credit cards.

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