from WELLINGTON TONI in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE – ZIMBABWE’S largest bank by branch network, the government-owned Peoples Own Savings Bank (POSB), is embracing technology in line with global trends in the sector.
As competition in the market intensifies with the advent of technology, POSB plans to launch an Omni Channel Digital Banking Solutions platform by the middle of the year.
The bank has already opened a tender for the provision of the system.
According to details obtained from POSB by CAJ News Africa, the solution should be able to facilitate seamless and consistent interaction between customers and the bank across multiple channels such as web portals, mobile app, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), WhatsApp, a call centre, bank’s branches and any other available channels.
The turnkey and scalable solution supports internet banking, mobile banking, USSD banking, QR/Scan and Pay and mobile app solutions.
It also supports Smart Alerts, Corporate Banking, Agency Banking, Merchant Services, E-commerce, Acquiring and Issuing, Standard Transactions, Settlements, E-commerce plug-ins for collections and payments.
Further, the new solution will seek to provide reports and bank office management and bank controlled self-service mechanisms.
The bank has been lagging behind other banks in terms of technological advancement.
However, it has an edge over rivals in terms of clientele.
This is buoyed by Government pensioners, who form the bulk of the customers as the bank provides services closer to communities, especially in semi-urban, rural, and farming areas.
As of the end of 2015, POSB had total assets valued at US$133,7 million, with $63,81 million in customer deposits. It made an after-tax profit of $7,9 million in that calendar year.
As at that time, the bank had over 500 000 savings accounts, maintained 34 brick and mortar branches, operated 220 agency branches through Zimpost, and another 18 agency branches through Meikles Supermarkets.
That same month POSB started offering mortgages at 12 percent annual interest, with maximum terms of ten years.
It has however not been spared the lack of cash afflicting Zimbabwe’s economy.
It is anticipated a cash injection of $500 million by June, as announced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) will address the issue.
– CAJ News