In a move that is set to allow customers to take full advantage of the interbank rates being implemented through the introduction of the forex auction system, Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe has stepped up functionality of Foreign Currency Accounts (FCAs) on their digital banking platform.
Following the Reserve Bank’s pronouncement which allows the use of foreign currency for local transactions, the bank took the opportunity to enhance digital banking offerings that allow account holders to facilitate transactions using their free funds with ease.
Stanbic’s Head of Personal & Business Banking, Patson Mahatchi, indicated that the institution anticipates market appreciation of the new auction system as it provides a market regulated approach to determining exchange rates, which will encourage account holders to use their free funds through digital banking platforms at the governed official exchange rate.
“It is always our objective to meet the needs of our customers and the auction system has provided a more stable way of determining prevailing exchange rates, a move which we think our customers should take advantage of through the use of digital banking platforms which allows them to transact from their FCAs at the prevailing formal competitive rates,” said Mahatchi.
The bank’s digital banking platforms for both personal and business customers, allow for transfers to be made from FCAs to ZWL accounts and payment of bills, all such transactions being processed using the prevailing official rate.
Customers can also perform local USD transactions through interbank or internal transactions, as well as process USD bills such as Dstv subscriptions. Civil servants have also become beneficiaries of the payments system as they can now access their recently opened local USD accounts on the bank’s mobile and online banking platforms.
Commenting on this development, Mahatchi said that “The USD accounts for civil servants are already in place and we have made the process easier for them by enabling these accounts to transact on all our existing digital banking platforms, the most popular being our Blue247 mobile banking service which is USSD based.”
He added that: “Debit cards for these accounts will also be issued to allow customers to transact by swiping on POS machines, and transactions will continue to be processed at the prevailing official exchange rate of the week.”
Mahatchi emphasized the Bank’s determination towards continuous innovation around customer needs cognizant of prevailing dynamics. In that regard, the bank recently launched the Slydepay App which is geared to revolutionize local payment options with the QR code payment option which eliminates contact.
The technologically advanced application allows account holders to pay bills and make in-store purchases on their phone using QR code scanning technology. Stanbic Bank views the digitalization drive as a futuristic move necessitated by technological advancements that have taken over the sector worldwide.
The Bank is adopting a model adopted by many financial and non-financial institutions in other parts of the world but very few in Southern Africa.