A Case Study on Flexcube Deployment in 30 African Countriesa Case Study on Flexcube Deployment in 30 African Countries

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Abstract:
The banking environment has reached such a level of maturity, that it became difficult for any bank to build competitive advantage on products alone. It is now necessary to provide faster, flexible and reliable services, reduce operating cost and time to market for new products, increase the number of service delivery channels and embed change management in the day-to-day business process. The stiff competition in the financial sector requires an effective Core Banking System that can help the bank innovate, exceed customer expectations, increase efficiency, reduce operational costs and improve customer retention. Accomplishing these objectives requires a robust technical architecture capable of meeting rigorous banking scalability and availability demands while seamlessly integrating multiple channels and ancillary programs to create an end-to-end process framework. It is the search for such a system with the features above that led the Ecobank Group in 2006 adopts the use Flexcube Universal Banking System (FCUBS or Flexcube) as its Core Banking Application.

The present case study explains how the Ecobank Group upgraded and centralised its core system across operations in 30 countries, boosting efficiency and saving money along the way.


I.Ecobank’s Profile:
Ecobank is the leading pan-African bank with operations in 33 countries across the continent, more than any other bank in the world. The Group also has an affiliate in Paris and representative offices in Dubai, Johannesburg, London and Luanda. Ecobank is a full-service bank focused on sub-Saharan Africa. It provides a broad range of products and services to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, small and medium enterprises, micro businesses and individuals. In all the markets in which it operates, Ecobank is recognized as one of the leading banks, providing a full range of wholesale, retail, commercial, investment and transaction banking services and products. The Group has over 24,200 employees from 35 different countries in over 1,100 branches.

II.Business Startup:
ETI, a public limited liability company, was established as a bank holding company in 1985 under a private sector initiative spearheaded by the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry with the support of ECOWAS. In the early 1980’s the banking industry in West Africa was dominated by foreign and state-owned banks. There were hardly any commercial banks in West Africa owned and managed by the African private sector. ETI was founded with the objective of filling this vacuum. Ecobank story started in 1985, with the registration of a company called ‘Ecopromotion”. In 1988, the first banking affiliate was set up in Togo, and the following year in Ivory Coast and Benin. Since its inception, this group moved from 1, 3, 5, 11, 13 affiliate, and today we are 32 banking affiliates with a presence in 35 countries. The bank grew from 150 offices in twelve countries to 1100 offices in 35 countries. Staff headcount moved from 750 to 24,000. Obviously a solid and reliable technology system was needed to support such an expansion.

III.Business Problem
In 2005, the Bank, led by its Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Arnold Ekpe1, decided to review its growth and scale strategy in order to grasp business the opportunity offered by a relatively unexploited market for the banking sector.

It vision, henceforth was to build a world class pan African bank, aiming at growing from West and Central Africa, to cover what it called the “Middle Africa” (all Africa excluding Northern African and South Africa), where it would offer the whole array of banking services to its retail and wholesale customers with convenient, accessible and reliable financial products and services.

In order to increase its shareholder’s value, the Group adopted a triple listing strategy , which raised the level of the bank’s standards to global...
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