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Stanbic Bank To Step Up Covid Mitigation Measures Through Digitisation

By Almot Maqolo

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Leading financial services institution, Stanbic Bank, is banking on its top-notch innovative mobile and internet platforms to ensure its clients are well served throughout the 30-day lockdown.

Having just been awarded Best Bank by The Banker in December last year for innovative products that mitigated against its clients and employees contracting the coronavirus, the Standard Bank Group subsidiary is going full circle to implement the same measures that put its customers and staff’s safety first.

Stanbic Bank Head of Marketing and Communications, Palmer Mugavha said the institution was adopting a safety-first approach for the benefit of both its customers and members of staff and its digitization strategy will ensure that this approach is achieved without much incident.

‘This invisible creature called COVID-19 has reared its ugly head in a more deadly fashion and we have to be more alert now than ever before because of the nature of this second strain. As a bank we have ensured that 70% of our staff work from home albeit with emphasis that the level of customer centricity which has been our hallmark over the years is upheld even more” said Mugavha.

He said while Stanbic Bank fell under an essential service whereby workers were permitted to come to work, the institution was relying on its highly innovative mobile and online banking platforms to ensure that customers were not compromised in any way, shape or form throughout the lockdown period.

“Stanbic Bank definitely applauds Government for ensuring there is a lockdown because the numbers of lives lost is skyrocketing and staying indoors has to be at the forefront of any measure to mitigate against the spread of this disease. In that regard as a bank we are encouraging our clients to make use of our numerous platforms and do their transactions at home,” said Mugavha.

In 2018 Stanbic adopted digitization as a means of keeping abreast of technological advancement in line with global trends, which also became ways to mitigate against the menacing COVID-19 which broke out in March last year.

The advent of COVID-19 meant the institution had to “think outside the box” and introduce new products that would ensure the safety of its customers and employees while still offering convenient service.

To that end Stanbic Bank launched contactless debit cards and POS machines, becoming the first financial services institution to introduce this highly secure innovative technology onto the Zimbabwean retail market. 

The contactless debit cards and point of sale machines are symbolic of how Stanbic adheres to its customer-centricity nature especially in this era of COVID-19 and has been accepted in 78 countries world worldwide. It is estimated that all point of sale terminals in Europe will be contactless enabled, so Stanbic embraced the secure innovative technology which is highly convenient during this “new normal” and in particular the second phase of lockdown. 

Apart from the contactless debit cards and point of sale machines, Stanbic Bank stepped up functionality of FCAs on digital banking platforms in addition to launching a technologically advanced application which allows account holders to pay bills and make in-store purchases from their phones using QR code scanning technology called SlydePay.

This lockdown comes as Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe has just taken the cost of accessing some of its digital banking platforms from the customer to the bank.
In late December last year, Stanbic Bank made sure its customers enjoyed the convenience of digital banking by taking over the internet data cost in pursuit of its customer centricity approach to implementing its digital bank strategy.

To that end Stanbic zero-rated the platforms for all their customers who are Econet subscribers in recognition of the escalating data bundles costs among others. Stanbic is in negotiations with the other mobile network service providers to make the same service available to Netone and Telecel subscribers.

All these products are part of a well thought out digitization strategy which offers convenience to customers and ensures that clients are beneficiaries of quality banking technologies while being protected from COVID-19.
Mugavha said Stanbic Bank customers are also able to access cash on its ATMs hence have no need to go into the branch.

He said Stanbic’s recognition by The Banker for its resilience and innovation in the face of the operational challenges brought about by the menacing COVID-19 last year will spur the Standard Bank Group subsidiary to maintain the same high standards this time around.

The Banker “Bank of the Year” accolades are among the most coveted and widely regarded awards in the banking industry. The Banker is a member of the Financial Times Group renowned for being one of the most trusted sources of global banking information since 1926.

The Banker acknowledged that COVID-19 presented the banking sector with challenges beyond any previous experience and applauded Stanbic Bank for “providing stability and putting the needs of its clients and employees at the forefront of its operations”.


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