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CariCRIS upgrades the credit ratings of The Belize Bank Ltd. by 2 notches

December 20, 2021 Belize City, Belize – On December 13, 2021, CariCRIS assigned the following “Investment Grade” rating to The Belize Bank Limited.

A copy of the full Credit Rating Report can be viewed here: CariCRIS BBL Credit Rating Report – December 2021

CariCRIS decision to upgrade BBL’s regional scale ratings is a direct result of improved fiscal conditions and projected economic improvement in Belize. They have also maintained a stable outlook on the ratings.  The stable outlook is based on their expectation that BBL will continue to be profitable and maintain comfortable capital buffers despite the ongoing economic challenges facing the Belizean economy.

The rating of The Belize Bank Limited is a significant achievement for the Bank and the country of Belize as it represents an objective assessment of the Bank’s creditworthiness relative to other rated entities in the region and reflects their intimate understanding of the risks that are unique to the Caribbean.  

The Belize Bank Limited continues to maintain a strong presence in the Belizean commercial banking industry with a wide distribution network.  The bank’s operations are supported by a robust risk management framework, which is being enhanced by ongoing digital initiatives.  Additionally, BBL’s deposit base continues to underpin its stable funding costs and liquidity position.  The bank is also comfortably capitalized and reported improved asset quality and an improvement in profitability for the six month ending September 2021.  

The Board of Directors and Management of The Belize Bank Limited takes this opportunity to commend the staff of the organization for their excellent work over the past years which has contributed significantly to the assignment of this rating.

Mr. Lyndon Guiseppi, Executive Chairman of The Belize Bank Limited stated that “The improvement in rating is supported by the BBL’s leading market share in the Belizean commercial banking industry. There has been significant improvements in the risk infrastructure and a focus on technology which support strategic planning.  Asset quality remains good and and is supported by a reduction in non-performing loans. We are very encouraged by the improvement in rating and it motivates us to keep bringing a refreshing banking experience to our customers countrywide.”

Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services (CariCRIS) is the Caribbean’s leading credit rating agency, with shareholding by regional Central Banks, several major regional commercial banks, and CRISIL, an associate company of the globally-recognized rating agency Standard & Poor’s.  

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Cash In On E-Kyash: New E-Wallet App Launch by Wallet Factory to Help the Underbanked in Belize

The Belize Bank Limited—along with a fintech solutions provider, Wallet Factory—have been the first in the region to launch a digital wallet app providing access to top-notch online banking services for Belizean customers.

 

Belize City, Belize and Kyiv, Ukraine — September 20, 2021.

E-kyash, an innovative financial mobile application, has been successfully rolled out in the Belizean market. The game-changing banking app was developed by Wallet Factory exclusively for the Belize Bank Limited to replace unsafe cash payments with more secure digital-driven operations. E-kyash is primarily designed as a gateway that drives financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked communities in Belize.

 

“We took every opportunity to deliver the best financial software product possible while creating new exceptional banking user experiences,” said Mikhail Miroshnichenko, Co-Founder and CEO at Wallet Factory. “Behind every single feature we implemented in our mobile app, there is a solid understanding and appreciation of local customer demand for robust digital financial services.”

 

To match and exceed the individual banking needs of Belizean end users, E-kyash enjoys feature-rich functionality combined with ease of use, security, and transparency. The financial mobile app is custom-built with stringent measures to ensure full compliance with local and international regulatory laws and standards.

 

“With the implementation of E-kyash, the Belize Bank will be providing the perfect financial solution to meet the needs of the underserved Belizean population,” stated Lyndon Guiseppi, the Executive Chairman of the Belize Bank Limited. “E-kyash was also the first digital wallet in the country to be fully approved by the Central Bank after a thorough and vetting process, which we welcomed.”

 

The digital wallet comprises two versions—Customer and Business applications, specifically designed to cater to the needs of both individual clients and business users like merchants, and cash agents/retail operators. E-kyash provides various user roles to efficiently manage multiple financial services and operations.

 

E-kyash deftly dovetails a short app’s learning curve with a plethora of tech-enabled opportunities for its users. 

“Today’s FinTech-fueled innovations bring in an entirely new meaningful way of interaction between businesses and end users,” shared Yuriy Lozinsky, CTO at Wallet Factory. “This, in fact, is a complete and holistic financial ecosystem capable of fostering overall economic growth in the region.” 

 

Among the most advantageous features that have been released so far are the following:

  • Smooth multi-variant Cash-in and Cash-out operations capability
  • Instant transfers and payments—Person-to-Person, Request-to-Pay, Scan- to-Pay (QR payment), and others
  • Access to a full-detailed personal transaction history
  • Smart search filters per operation and payment types
  • Comprehensive dashboards for cash agents and merchants
  • Customer loyalty programs with referral and new user welcome bonuses

 

“E-kyash will revolutionize how payments are being made in Belize,” said Agata Ruta, Head of Digital, Business and Retail Banking at the Belize Bank Limited. “Consumers are able to enjoy all of the benefits that E-kyash has to offer. With our customers’ feedback we are building a lifestyle platform which will include a lot of value added services, becoming the Belizean first choice of payments, at the same time promoting the shift from cash heavy to cash lite society”. 

 

As of today, the results of app usage are quite impressive. Customers and businesses users have already experienced a bevy of tangible benefits while using E-kyash in their day-to-day banking operations:

 

  • Within a first month after launch, E-kyash has already enrolled 34k users
  • So far 15k P2P transactions were successfully performed
  • 3k purchases were closed using QR codes
  • We operate with a network of over 750 stores country wide, accepting Cash ins, cash outs and QR code payments. 
  • 15% of registered users are between the ages of 14 and 17, which was one of the Belize Bank’s objectives – to include the young population into financial services and promote personal finances management.

 

About Wallet Factory

Wallet Factory is a seasoned software development company that provides midsize and large finance businesses with bespoke FinTech solutions. With 15 years of industry experience, Wallet Factory empowers financial services companies across the globe with creation of highly competitive custom-built business solutions.

 

[email protected]

About the Belize Bank Limited

The Belize Bank Limited is the largest full service commercial banking operation in Belize, providing a wide range of banking and financial services to both domestic and international customers. It carries a tradition of excellence in service as the first and oldest continuous banking operation in Belize.

[email protected]

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Introducing Soft Tokens

Introducing Soft Tokens

EASY TO USE, EASY TO TRANSACT

We are excited to announce the introduction of Belize Bank Mobile and Online Banking’s new and advanced security feature – One Time Password (OTP). The OTP, also known as a “Soft- Token”, is a passcode that is valid for only one login session or transaction, on a computer system or other digital device. This OTP will replace the need to enter your security question when logging in and your PIN when completing debit transactions from your accounts, not only making new feature secure, but also fast and convenient..

You will also be happy to note that enterprise and individual soft token users will have the ability to make online transfers without the need of responding to a confirmation email as long as the transaction amount is below the new transaction limits which has since been increased to the following:

ENTERPRISE ACCOUNTS: $150,000

PERSONAL ACCOUNTS: $5,200

Benefits of using One time passwords

Added Security

One Time Password adds a critical security layer, ensuring that your account is always protected from theft.

Save time

Remove the complication of using passwords and PIN when you want to access your account. Authenticate with ease using OTP

Always Verified

Unlike static passwords, no one can know your password since it always refreshes. Only you will have access

Multiple Channels

Whether using our Mobile Banking app or our Online Banking, your OTP will work seamlessly across our channels.

Stop Attacks

Say goodbye to compromised passwords and PINs. Attackers will never be able to access your account without your OTP

App Experience

Use our Mobile Banking app without a PIN to verify every transaction. Your OTP is built into the app; verification now happens automatically

Now available in our Mobile Banking App.

Your soft token will be generated using our Mobile Banking app. Make sure you download the latest version from your app store.

google play
app sttore

How to register your Soft Token

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Wallet Factory and Belize Bank to build a mobile payment platform and digital wallet in Belize

March 29, 2021 – Wallet Factory, an enterprise-grade platform for up-to-date mobile financial services, announced an agreement with The Belize Bank Limited (BBL) to build a fully-functional mobile payment ecosystem for local end-users, merchants, and retailers.

The mission of the collaboration lies in the improvement of financial services in the Central American and Caribbean regions. According to the United Nations survey, these regions lack robust digital instruments and mechanisms for improving financial insertion rates. The Wallet Factory and Belize Bank collaboration aims to push the boundaries for unbanked customers in the region by offering a brand new digital wallet solution, E-kyash.

The release of E-kyash, which is slated for April 2021, is just the first step of a long-term partnership. The main objective of E-kyash is to lead the financial inclusion strategy across Belize by proposing an easy to use and convenient solution for end users and merchants to perform daily transactions.

Agata Ruta, Head of Digital and Retail Banking at Belize Bank:

“We always welcome improvements and innovations which aim to provide our clients with the best services corresponding to international digitalization trends. Our collaboration with Wallet Factory may start a new era for Central America, making mobile financial services more convenient, effective, and secure”.

The E-kyash mobile wallet application offers end-customers and merchants the following benefits:

  •  Allows for quick registration as no bank account is required
  •  Supports both Business to Customer and Business to Business payments
  •  Enables users to make QR (Quick Response)-based payments
  •  Enables public utility bill payments
  •  Enables the convenience of funding wallet balance via cash payments at retail operators
  • Allows for salary payments directly to employees E-kyash wallet.

Wallet Factory is credited with many years of experience in the mobile payment solutions sector. As such, the company’s hands-on expertise in building high-efficiency e-money processing mechanisms across MENA and LATAM countries will surely help Belizean users to leverage the benefits of this new convenient and safe e-wallet application.

Volodymyr Budanov, Chief Delivery and Product Officer at Wallet Factory:

“Wallet Factory is primarily based on three principles: secure, beneficial, and innovative. The Latin American market suffers from low access to financial services, including bank accounts. Hence, end-users face problems on an everyday basis. Our collaboration with Belize Bank, the leader in innovative market solutions in Belize, aims to simplify the way people buy goods and services.”

About Wallet Factory:

Wallet Factory’s mission lies in providing the world with digital wallet businesses and creating brand new FinTech solutions across the globe. With more than 15 years of experience, the team is ready to enhance the financial level of mobile operators, retailers, banks, and other institutions.

[email protected]

About Belize Bank:

The Belize Bank Limited is a full service commercial banking operation in Belize providing a range of banking and financial services to both domestic and international customers.  The Belize Bank Limited carries a tradition of excellence in service as the first and oldest continuous banking operation in Belize.

[email protected]

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New Growth Opportunities

Belize Bank Reinvents Core Banking to Capture New Growth Opportunities

With Finastra, Belize Bank has found a partner that can support its ambitions Jose Cardona – Chief Information Officer, Belize Bank

The Challenge

In Belize, a small country with a population of just under 400,000 people, the banking sector is dominated by a handful of large banks, limiting opportunities for growth. Additionally, the country’s financial services industry was hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis. Today, banks continue to grapple with low interest rates, greater regulatory scrutiny and changed customer expectations. To maintain its market-leading position in the face of these pressures, Belize Bank has been on a mission to transform both the way it manages operations and how it serves customers. Jose Cardona, Chief Information Officer at Belize Bank, elaborates: “For continued growth in a saturated market, we must offer a banking experience unlike any other, and deliver innovative products backed by exceptional service. To achieve this, we need deep insight into each customer’s unique needs, so we can tailor our products and services suitably. “However, our existing core systems did not offer a complete picture of a customers’ engagement with the bank. It was difficult for us to see how customers were interacting with us and if there were additional services that they might be interested in taking up, limiting cross- and up-sell opportunities.” He continues: “What’s more, our core banking system had been in place for more than a decade, and was really starting to show its age. We recognized that moving to a new, modern core system would help us to boost efficiency and renew our focus on the customer experience.”

The Solution

As the foundation for its core banking transformation, Belize Bank selected Fusion Essence. Jose Cardona recalls: “Fusion Essence appealed to us because it was built on latest generation and open technology. Finastra has also infused a significant degree of innovation and industry knowledge into the solution. All of this provides a future-proof platform on which to build our business and reduce the risk of obsolescence.” With a cutting-edge core banking platform in place, Belize Bank will be able to drive more stable, standardized operations, and react faster to new demands. “Fusion Essence provides a visionary solution for a visionary bank,” notes Jose Cardona. “Our transformation required a new platform that would allow us to expand our presence both locally in Belize as well as in the wider region. Fusion Essence provides that platform; it enables us to launch products rapidly into the market.” In addition, Belize Bank will be well-positioned to meet ongoing regulatory requirements. Jose Cardona confirms: “Fusion Essence offers us a very capable platform for reporting and regulatory compliance. A key advantage with Fusion Essence is that the system can be easily configured for different regulatory reporting scenarios. This kind of flexibility is very helpful for maintaining compliance.”

Connecting with Customers

Today, Belize Bank benefits from faster, more reliable end-of-day processing, as Jose Cardona states: “We have seen a marked improvement in end-of-day processing, which is now much faster and stable.” Thanks to Finastra solutions, Belize Bank can gain a much more nuanced view of its customers, and plans to use this newfound insight to shape more relevant and compelling banking services. “Previously, extracting data on customers from our core banking system was a complex, time-consuming process,” says Jose Cardona. “That has all changed thanks to Fusion Essence. We can obtain data from the system very quickly and easily; we are using this information to shape a much better understanding of who our customers are and what they want from a bank.” He continues: “The new insight will enable us to grow our share-of-wallet with existing customers, increasing cross and up-selling of additional services and products. In an era of shrinking interest margins, the ability to generate additional revenue streams such as these is highly valuable for Belize Bank.” Equally importantly, Belize Bank will be able to bring these offerings to market rapidly. Jose Cardona comments: “Fusion Essence will help us to generate new services and products quickly and in a straightforward way. For example, we are launching a new mobile banking service, and our enhanced core banking capabilities will play a key role in driving this innovation.”

 

Finastra (2018). Belize Bank Reinvents Core Banking to Capture New Growth Opportunities. Retrieved April 6, 2018 from Finastra. Website: www.finastra.com 

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First Time Home Ownership Program

Are you considering owning your first home?

One of the questions that are sure to come up when you are considering a place to call home is whether you should build your own home or rent. Both options have their pros and cons but in the end there is really nothing like having a home of your own. Not only does it build your assets or wealth, in the long term, but it provides stability for you and your family.

The Belize Bank First Time Home Ownership Program can make acquiring your home a whole lot easier, because we will get you started with 100% financing for the purchase of your land.

Our First Time Home Ownership Program involves three steps.

100% Financing for Land with Pre-approved Mortgage

    • The mortgage specialist will pre-approve the mortgage amount that you qualify for based on your income.
    • Based on the mortgage payment, you will be informed of the maximum amount you can borrow to acquire your land.
    • Once you’re pre-approved, you can begin shopping for your land.
    • When your land loan is executed you will be presented with a Pre-approved Mortgage Certificate for the amount the Bank will be prepared to lend you for the construction of your home.

Grow your Equity

  • You will be rapidly building equity or wealth as your make your monthly payments.
  • While you’re building your equity and on your way to owing your land outright, you can start planning the construction of your home. This will involve the following:
    • Acquiring your building plans
    • Acquiring approval of building plans from Central Building Authority
    • Selecting a suitable contractor
    • Acquiring Bill of Quanity

Start Building

  • Repayment of your land loan should be completed in 36 months. At that time you will be a proud land owner and can visit your Mortgage Specialist to apply for your mortgage.
  • You can also choose the option to commence construction before the 36 months have elapsed but you must have built up equity in the land for an amount equal to or greater than 10% of the value of the property( land and proposed building).
  • During the construction phase the mortgage proceeds will be disbursed in tranches based on the approved bill of quantities.

We’re always here to help with advice and to assist you in reaching your financial goals and dreams, so visit us soon to discuss how we can help you in becoming a home owner.  Belize Bank is the ideal place to fully prepare and educate yourself about first time home ownership.

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