Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways, Highly Commended, Best in Class Treasury Solution in Africa

Steven Elms, Citi and Dennis Nandwa, Kenya Airways

This solution harnesses the power of mobile technology like iPads, in order to improve the way the company interacts and processes transactions with its bankers. The solution has enabled treasury staff to input transactions on the system which the treasury manager can authorise while travelling.

Photo of Steven Elms, Citi and Dennis Nandwa, Kenya Airways.

Jane W. Kiboi

Manager Treasury

Kenya Airways Ltd. is the national carrier of Kenya. The company was founded in 1977, after the dissolution of East African Airways.

in partnership with

The challenge:

The treasury department at Kenya Airways looks after transactions across 51 countries and over 200 bank accounts – which includes payroll to more than 4,500 staff and over 1,000 suppliers in over 80 different currencies. Some of the challenges that arise from this include:

  • Senior approvals required.

    Often these payments require the approval of senior managers such as the treasury manager, company directors and other authorised signatories. Under the old interaction methods, seniors were required to logon to an online platform in order to be able to view and authorise payments.

  • Senior approvers often travel.

    Due to the nature of Kenya Airways business and the large number of countries covered and the related different time zones; the required approvers and decision makers frequently travel. This often makes it inconvenient and difficult for seniors to logon to an online based portal to approve.

  • Delays in payments.

    As a result, there were often delays in payments, which could put pressure on supplier satisfaction, staff and other vendor relationships which are key to maintaining the high levels of service at Kenya Airways.

The challenge, therefore, was to improve efficiency and turnaround times for payment approval.

The solution:

Since Jane Kiboi, Manager Treasury for Kenya Airways frequently uses an iPad device, Citi proposed its CitiDirect BE tablet app as a solution for payment approval and access to consolidated balances for Kenya Airways’ multiple accounts.

CitiDirect BESM Tablet allows Kenya Airways users to authorise and release payments from anywhere and at any time – something that is especially important in light of the level of travel required of the company’s senior managers. The simple interface enabled Kenya Airways to customise data visualisations, filtering of real-time data by currency, amount and country and the ability to view information in map and chart format with just a few taps.

The implementation of the solution was extremely efficient and was accomplished by simply downloading the CitiDirect BESM Tablet app and user entitlements already defined in CitiDirect BE being maintained. In addition, CitiDirect BESM Tablet uses the same SafeWordTM card multifactor authentication as CitiDirect BESM, ensuring the same robust and secure processes. The interoperability of Citi’s channels has been extremely useful to Kenya Airways and has assisted in improving the implementation speed and ease of learning the new tool.

As Kiboi explains “the solution has enabled treasury staff to input transactions in the office through the CitiDirect BESM platform, which I can then authorise while travelling.”

Now, the company can easily optimise its working capital and maintain critical supplier relationships and enjoy benefits in the following areas:

  • Optimised user experience with interactive features and an intuitive interface.

  • Freedom and flexibility with on-the-go access to real-time information in the CitiDirect BE platform.

  • Customised data visualisations providing enriched visibility of bank accounts, payments and transaction detail.

  • Authorise and release single and batch payments and send payments to repair.

  • Use features and discovery tools to view data globally, by region or country; and filter by currency, amount and country in chart or map views.

Best practice and innovation:

The CitiDirect BE tablet solution is a step forward for Kenya Airways banking processes. It harnesses the power of mobile technology (in this case, iPads) in order to improve the way the company interacts and process transactions with their banks. The CitiDirectBE Tablet app is extremely user-friendly and simplifies the viewing, access to and approval of cash management information. By utilising this solution, Kenya Airways’ approvals and turnaround times have improved and ensure the company’s payments are released in a timely manner and improved the level of control and visibility over deposits with Citi across the globe.

Kiboi concludes “this process and bank interaction improvement has led to the overall improvement in the efficiency of the treasury department at Kenya Airways and helped to provide further convenience to senior staff that travel and are required to approve payments.”

Key benefits:

  • Time taken to implement solution and realise benefits in payment turn-around times.

  • Productivity gains.

  • Process efficiencies.

  • Visibility for key decision makers across the payment cycles.

  • Visualisation of Kenya Airways position at any time, real time.