Co-operatives have been urged to guard against cybercrime as the vice poses an ever greater threat to members’ deposits and transactions.
Department of Co-operatives Principal Secretary Ali Noor Hassan, speaking at the launch of an inaugural branch of Shoppers Sacco in Nairobi’s central business district on Friday, asked saccos to invest more in security of deposits and prudent management.
“Invest in tools and technology that will protect deposits because cybercrime is on the rise. Keep on with innovation and research,” Mr Hassan said.
He urged the sector to remain competitive to sustain its market share, with bigger marketing strategies and secure facilities.
The sacco officials said the branch at Nature House is aimed at recruiting more members and improving service delivery. Shoppers — previously known as Naku Sacco — draws most of its members from supermarket employees, but is now open to the public.
Sacco chief executive James Njagi said there were plans to open 10 more branches in major towns in the next three years.
The sacco’s deposits currently stand at Sh1.6 billion, as loans advanced to members increase significantly.
“This branch is great for us. It was to be opened last year but we had to undergo due diligence and legal processes,” said Mr Njagi.
The firm plans to increase its deposits to Sh6.2 billion, and hopes to grow its loan portfolio to Sh8.6 billion, while increasing its asset base to Sh10 billion by 2020, says Mr Njagi.
National chairman Wilfred Aima said that despite stiff competition, Shoppers Sacco has braved the battle from banks and micro-finance institutions and remained competitive through rebranding and efficiency in customer experience.
Recruitment of new members has also added to the sacco’s growth, he said.