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Rawbank, the first bank of DRC

Rawbank is the largest bank in the DRC in terms of deposits, with almost 1490 billion Congolese francs in 2017 (almost 108 million American dollars), a net increase of 77.45% since 2016. In this way, Rawbank is able to contribute to the growth of investment in the DRC, and to support entrepreneurship. In particular, Rawbank demonstrates the benefits of banking for anyone who wants to start a business. By declaring their activity, they can more easily access all credit instruments. At the macroeconomic level, these companies are moving out of the informal sector and therefore contribute to the development of the economy by supporting public investment.

Rawbank Atrium Jour
Rawbank Atrium Jour

With a 10% bancarization rate, growth prospects are very strong in the DRC, whose banking market currently represents about $3.6 billion. The future prospects are particularly promising for Rawbank in a favorable economic context and in a sector whose growth rate is estimated at 25% per year. The bank relies on its expertise and the profitable growth potential of its market.

Despite the crises that can affect the Congolese economy, Rawbank remains resilient. This is explained by a great commitment to maintain balances, to always attract new customers thanks to its products, to facilitate access to the bank by all possible means, by relay points and by digital (Illico Cash mobile application). This constant attention to anticipating its customers’ needs is what allows Rawbank to always be one-step ahead and take a long-term view. It is also important to highlight the advantages gained through normalization for SMEs (SMEs are not used to come to the banking system): registration at the trade register, access to credit, financing, loans and all the tools made available to SMEs that can provide a history of money flows. Moreover, to support banking sector in DRC, the bank also addresses specific situations, such as women entrepreneurs, whom it helps in any cycle of their businesses, namely through its “Lady’s First” program, specifically tailored to suit their needs. Rawbank also coaches debuting entrepreneurs to help them navigate through accounting, expense planning, and documentation, so that their projects can pass through the bank’s analysis filter and eligible for funding.

Rawbank is committed to expanding internationally to support its customers throughout the continent. Partnering with world-class financial institutions is also a way for Rawbank to increase its lending capacity and challenge itself to meet international requirements. Its criteria for choosing a partner are its reputation, the added value it can bring (value investments in a specific sector according to its knowledge, etc.) and of course the terms (amount, interest rate and duration). As the Congolese market matures, its customers are looking for longer terms.

Our partners are very rigorous and carry out in-depth due diligence on the bank, both on the basis of documentary analyses and on-site interviews and audits. Development finance institutions need to understand the bank, its business model, financial performance, governance, management risks, etc. Legal due diligence, agreement on final terms and drafting of contracts still take a few months before the time of final disbursement. Rawbank choose its partners carefully as well.

To better support its customers, Rawbank is also developing a complete digital offer with Illico Cash. Today, digital communication is indeed a key customer service, especially in countries where a poor infrastructure isolates many potential users of its services, which cannot be reached by brick-and-mortar branches or any other authorized counter. The “Illico Cash” solution makes it possible to fill this gap by offering dematerialized services such as sending, transferring and withdrawing money without a card, consulting accounts, the nearest branch and recharging mobile credit. Illico Cash was created to be a comprehensive solution for clients and unbanked clients. The mobile app is downloadable on Play Store and Apple Store and its main feature is the Send-money function to anyone. An unbanked client can also open an Illico Cash account, make deposits to make e-money transfers and cash-outs. Thus, it provides an extensive and seamless service all over the Illico Cash network for all Congolese who are in relations with Rawbank customers.

The money transfer service is particularly appreciated, since it is sufficient to register a name and a mobile phone number and the transfer can be made in any currency as often as necessary. Similarly, the possibility of withdrawing cash without a card is a specific feature of Rawbank’s Illico Cash application.

In addition to be an economic actor, Rawbank makes a point of honor to invest in CSR, through actions to support the elderly, education and people with disabilities. We want to contribute to the construction of a truly inclusive economy. Each year, Rawbank allocates significant resources to charities for the poor. The main aim is to support local associations that carry out charitable activities, rehabilitate buildings of public interest or make donations in the fields of health and education.