News & Events

AFRICA’s leading provider of home-grown banking and financial technology solutions, AppZone,   has intensified focus on improving financial services access to the under-banked members of the informal sector by piloting Creditclub.

Creditclub is an alternative banking channel solution developed for licensed deposit money Banks with primary application in the area of delivering basic Banking services to remote customers outside traditional branches and in collaboration with affiliated third party entities. Speaking on the development the company explained that “Banks can leverage AppZone’s shared Core Banking platform along with the Creditclub technology and agent network to exploit the huge opportunity for customer acquisition and liquidity growth as well as to significantly increase operating margins through low cost and relatively stable savings funds.” “The CreditClub technology addresses branchless banking challenges by providing a robust software core and embedded core banking application that seamlessly integrates with portable mobile phones and POS devices as well as third party core banking applications. CreditClub also offers mobile banking self-service applications and functionality for issuing and managing debit cards. Using applications on mobile devices, agents are able to perform basic banking operations such as instant account opening and debit card issuance, as well as cash deposits and withdrawals. Other supported services include bills payments & funds transfers.   The Instant card issuance feature allows Agents link non-personalized debit cards to newly created accounts of customers thereby allowing new customers access their funds at ATMs from day one. The CreditClub agent network is currently being piloted in Lagos, Abia, Owerri, Oyo and Kwara with the ultimate goal to roll-out across the 36 states of Nigeria in 2016. , CreditClub is a flagship product of AppZone limited; a Nigerian software company that was established in 2008 and has grown to become Africa’s No. 1 provider of home-grown software solutions for the financial services industry.

Johannesburg, 12 May 2014, Business Connexion (BCX) has acquired a 30% strategic interest in AppZone Limited, an information technology solutions provider in Lagos, Nigeria, with solutions specifically focused on the Financial Services sector.

AppZone, has 51 employees and deploys technology platforms to financial institutions that allow end-users remotely access financial services and consummate financial transactions using a wide range of connected electronic devices.

“AppZone responded to the growing need in emerging markets for financial services accessibility to the masses. The company was formed with a genuine belief in Africa’s latent ability to support the home grown production and delivery of world class IT Software for the enhancement of key sectors of the budding economy.” said Emeka Emetarom, AppZone Chief Operating Officer.

The company also automates internal financial operations within financial institutions and business organizations which are necessary for the effective provision and utilization of financial services.

“BCX is pleased to be associated with Appzone. They have a remarkable asset-base of e-payment software products and intellectual property, and we’re looking to jointly seize the financial services opportunities within Nigeria and ultimately across Africa.” said Matthew Blewett, Business Connexion Chief Operating Officer.

About Business Connexion

Business Connexion (Pty) Ltd, is South Africa’s leading IT services provider, (IDC, 2013) and a leading integrator of innovative business solutions based on information and communications technology (ICT). With over 7000 employees and a track record spanning over 33 years, Business Connexion runs mission-critical ICT systems and manages products, services and solutions for JSE listed and key public sector organisations, parastatals and medium-sized companies. In order to deliver a world-class service, Business Connexion has developed strong relationships and attained top-level certification with many of the world’s leading ICT suppliers. To find out how we can connect your business to a world of endless possibilities, please visit: www.bcx.co.za.

Leading technology firm AppZone has announced the first anniversary of its groundbreaking software suite Bank One. The Bank One software suite is widely tipped by analysts to play a major role in improving financial inclusion across the country by using technology to pull the unbanked population into the financial system..

Bank One is a suite of integrated banking and payment services designed to automate the processes of smaller financial institutions and improve customer satisfaction and convenience by improving access to electronic channels. It was launched in August 2010 and currently manages more than 120,000 accounts. It has witnessed impressive growth in its clientele after its first customer Lawyers Microfinance Bank signed on 12 months ago.

Some of the financial institutions that have signed on with Bank One include: Lawyers Microfinance Bank, P&C Micro Investments, Kwara Commercial Microfinance Bank, Sagamu Microfinance Bank, Cornerstone Mortgage Bank, Bryth-Covenant Microfinance Bank, Visa Microfinance Bank and Awkuzu Microfinance Bank. These banks alone collectively manage savings deposits of more than 800 million and fixed deposits totaling 250 million on BankOne.

Obi Emetarom chief executive officer of AppZone, said “Bank One will play a critical role in the transformation of target financial institutions’ operations to achieve global best practice by enabling reliable customer record keeping and accounting; by automating manual internal operations to achieve speed, accuracy, and efficiency while enabling MFB’s deliver services to anyone anywhere anytime through electronic channels. The lack of proper automation of banking operations in FI’s/MFB,’ geographical restrictions has been severely limiting MFB customer access to services.”

About AppZone
AppZone is a technology firm and a provider of financial services automation software in Nigeria. The company has recorded impressive growth and earned a reputation for developing innovative world-class software products that are tailored to emerging market economies.

AppZone, Nigeria’s foremost IT software and services company has announced its partnership with Interswitch, Africa’s leading electronic payment transaction and switching firm to offer value added services to microfinance institutions through its BankOne banking solution.

BankOne is an electronic banking and payment service that automates the operations of small and medium financial institutions particularly Microfinance Banks (MFBs). The partnership will enable microfinance banks offer Quickteller services to their customers.

Quickteller is an Interswitch value added service platform that provides airtime recharge, utility bill payments, funds transfers and payment for goods and services, across several channels including the Internet, mobile phones, ATMs, POS terminals and onsite bank locations.

Obi Emetarom, Chief Executive of AppZone said “The BankOne service plays a critical role in the transformation of financial institutions’ operations. It entrenches global best practices by enabling proper customer record keeping, accounting and automating of manual internal operations. BankOne solution enables MFBs achieve speed, accuracy, and efficiency while streamlining day-to-day MFB operations”.

Mr. Emetarom further stated that, “The lack of proper automation of banking operations severely limits MFB customers’ access to services. Though the desire to empower the under-banked population in the informal sector has led to the emergence of new retail financial institutions, including microfinance banks, some key challenges facing these institutions have impeded their growth. BankOne was created to solve this problem.”

Charles Ifedi, Director Payment Solutions and Business Expansion, Interswitch, added, “Interswitch is committed to delivering Value Added Services to its customers through the Quickteller platform. Our partnership with AppZone further demonstrates our willingness to partner with other players within the industry to provide a fast, reliable and secure payment solution for businesses and Nigerians.”

Mr. Ifedi further added that, “This partnership helps Microfinance Banks offer additional services to their customers without any infrastructural investment, thereby allowing the Microfinance Banks to focus on providing excellent financial services to their customers”.

By working with Third party services providers, Mobile Money Operators, shared infrastructure providers and other partners, Interswitch aims to save such organizations the human and material costs required to establish direct relationships with the various banks, merchants and billers, who already accept electronic payments via the Quickteller platform.

The partnership will further help extend the provision of value added services to end consumers of the innovative BankOne suite in order to achieve the cardinal goal of creating a ‘borderless’ banking financial system.

CMD a capacity building initiative and resource center for MFB’s funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has adopted the BankOne shared Infrastructure platform for automating operations of a network of more than 50 affiliate MFB’s. The organization was responsible for converting the institutions on its clientele list from community Banks to MFB’s after the Microfinance legislation was passed in 2005. CMD currently manages the IT infrastructure of these institutions while also providing training and advisory services to the industry as a whole. By instilling global best practices into the day-to-day operations of MFB’s CMD has created and nurtured some of the most successful operations in the industry. In a characteristic proactive style of the CMD management, the organization has moved to position its clientele technologically for the impending e-payment transformations being championed by CBN. CMD also expects to further streamline existing operations of its institutions by delivering a platform with certain advanced features which have become critical to MFB operations including Auto-generation of CBN reports, automated loan classification, provisioning and aging analysis as well as custom loan repayment schedules. Other critical enhancements to the previous platform include automated group loan management, treasury management, fixed assets register and branchless tellering. The choice to adopt BankOne was made after rigorous reviews and scrutiny of the platform including client site visits and pilot runs with volunteer institutions. According to the management of CMD, as a special concession and because of the strategic nature of the alliance all initial costs of acquisition including licensing, implementation, and training were waived. Jacob Jiya, Joe Jackson MD of CMD also pointed out that on-going customizations of the platform as needed do not attract any extra fee…” our technology partners view customizations and requests for new features as opportunities to enrich the system based on feed-back from the most reliable source available; the customer”.

Diamond Bank has partnered with technology company, Appzone, to ease financial services and to promote inclusive banking and the cashless policy.

BankOne, a mobile banking application that allows instant account opening and registration was implemented by Diamond Bank acquire and easily migrate all mass market accounts to deliver improved services to customers.

According to Appzone the banking product offers target customers with “branchless” access to basic financial services via more than 10,000 ATMs nationwide as well as through many mobile agents.

Under the plan, the pilot phase of this valve added service will see agents being deployed on the street of Lagos with fully armed mobile phones equipped with BankOne mobile banking application that enables them open bank accounts on the field and issue instant debit.

A range of value added services including mobile banking, inter-bank transfers and bills payments will also be available to customers, the companies said.

Keystone Bank has partnered Appzone, the financial services technology provider to present the industry-leading BankOne platform to a forum of microfinance banks in Kwara state, North-Central Nigeria.

This is in line with the the bank’s vision to expand its bouquet of products tailored for microfinance institutions. For several years, the top brass of the Kwara State Association of Microfinance Banks, has sought to transform the state’s
fledgling microfinance sector by tackling challenges created by the level of technology adopted by most of its member firms.

Some of these problems include time consuming and error-prone manual operations, a lack of geographical spread and the inability to process cheque-based and electronic inter-bank transactions.

BankOne was showcased as a technology platform that provides microfinance Banks with the capacity to implement end-to-end banking automation through multiple electronic and physical channels.

The workshop highlighted BankOne’s ability to transform microfinance banks into efficient and integrated financial services firms without steep infrastructure costs.

Speakers from Keystone and AppZone lauded the “Cashless” initiatives being driven by the Central Bank and highlighted the fact that BankOne had created an effective channel for low and medium income customers of microfinance banks to be fully absorbed into the new “cash-lite” society.

Raji Adegoke, AppZone’s Head of Business Development for BankOne MFB services said: “Customers of MFBs on BankOne can use debit cards at ATMs and POS’s nationwide as well as on the Internet. Customers also have their accounts linked to their mobile phones for the purposes of initiating Inter-Bank transfers and bill payments.”
Top management staff including chief executives of microfinance banks in the state, asked questions about BankOne platform and expressed keen interest in the potential benefits that could accrue.

Representatives of Keystone Bank also introduced the bank’s in-branch correspondent service which gives BankOne’s subscribers access to the wide network of Keystone Branches by allowing them make deposits or cash cheques without visiting their own microfinance institutions.

The in-branch correspondent banking service from Keystone leverages BankOne’s technology to enable single branch MFBs confined to localized regions harness the extensive reach of Keystone Bank to deliver branch-based services to customers across the nation.

The Workshop which held on the 27th of February comes on the heels of Keystone Bank’s decision to sign onto BankOne as a partner on its platform.
The relationship between Keystone and AppZone on BankOne involves connectivity between the BankOne datacenter and Keystone Bank’s core IT/payment processing infrastructure for the purpose of seamless interoperability allowing BankOne to compliment Keystone Bank’s offerings to non-Bank financial institutions while improving the bank’s competitive position within this highly lucrative and untapped niche market.

BankOne is a Financial Services IT platform that combines world class Core Banking functionality with access to a wide variety of electronic channels including ATMs, POS terminals, mobile phones, Internet banking, and Mobile Money agents amongst others.

PolCoop, the Nigeria Police Force’s cooperative society and credit union, has adopted BankOne, the integrated financial services platform developed by leading technology firm AppZone.

A member-owned non-profit financial institution, PolCoop manages the financial affairs of more than 400,000 police officers across Nigeria. The organisation also oversees at least 800,000 accounts and provides its members with voluntary and compulsory savings products in addition to low-interest loans. Savings contributions and loan repayments are deducted directly from officers’ salaries.

BankOne will eliminate several challenges faced by PolCoop including time consuming and error-prone manual management of financial records.
The platform will process the automation of all financial operations leading to significant improvements in speed, accuracy, transparency and fraud-reduction.

It will also enable members of the cooperative to make withdrawals from their savings accounts without having to travel to the Lagos headquarters of PolCoop. Members can also conveniently access their savings accounts at more than 10,000 ATMs across the country.

Customers who do not own cards have the option of processing instant transfer of funds to accounts domiciled in commercial banks.

BankOne also provides customers with the option of linking their PolCoop account to their mobile phones in order to initiate transfers and settle bills via compatible handheld devices.

The rollout is being implemented across the thirty-six branches of the cooperative and is being handled by experts from BankOne’s parent company AppZone. This rigorous exercise will involve updating and verifying member and financial data to ensure absolute compliance with global best practices.

BankOne is a financial services IT platform that combines world-class core banking functionality with access to a wide variety of electronic channels.
Its current focus is on non-bank financial services institutions:
MFBs, PMIs and Cooperatives, providing these institutions with the ability to manage transactions via ATMs, POS terminals, mobile phones, the Internet and Mobile Money agents amongst others

AppZone, the innovative financial services company has added Shagamu Microfinance Bank to its growing list of corporate clients. The microfinance bank will join a growing list of financial institutions that have switched to Bank One, the proprietary software suite licensed by AppZone.

One of Nigeria’s largest microfinance banks, Shagamu Microfinance Bank has over 50,000 customers and 7 branches and will be migrating to Bank One from Microsoft Navision. The bank has completed a pilot run after it deployed the platform in an operational capacity on August 18, 2011.

The management of the microfinance bank said that it migrated to Bank One after several problems hampered its operations. These problems have since been resolved with the deployment of Bank One, which is web-based and provides real time online connectivity with low-bandwidth Internet.

Bank One’s ability to manage complex operations was a deciding factor in Shagamu’s decision to fully adopt the software. The Bank One software seamlessly handles advanced loan management operations including classification, provisioning, aging analysis and repayment tracking. Other critical services which the MFB is pleased to have include automated generation of CBN returns, SMS and email alerts, as well as fixed assets and treasury management.

Shagamu Microfinance Bank also plans to issue debit cards on the BankOne platform which will enable customers to withdraw funds from more than 5000 ATMs across the country. Customers can also use Bank One’s mobile banking services to complete transactions via mobile devices and pay utility bills. Bank One was launched in August 2010 and currently manages more than 120,000 accounts.