CBZ Holdings says its banking unit is unfazed by the advent of alternative mobile-based payment platforms as the financial institution has a range of strategies in place to make an impact on the market.
CBZ Holdings wholly owns CBZ Bank, the country’s biggest bank by deposits.
The bank recently availed its mobile banking solution, Smart Money, as more banked and unbanked Zimbabweans turn to various telecommunications-backed money transfer services.
CBZ Holdings chief executive Never Nyemudzo told Standardbusiness last week that with so many players in the mobile transactions market, the group prefers complementing such services rather than going it alone.
“This [product] is what I call your own bank because of what the product can do for the customer. The customer can virtually do anything that they may expect to do at the bank, anytime during the day because our IT system will always be up,” Nyemudzo said.
“Indeed, there is going to be a lot of competition in the mobile space in terms of transactional banking and as a bank, we are cognisant of that and our product development is in full gear so that we can provide customers with solutions to customers that they may seek from competitors in the event that we are not being proactive”
Zimbabwe’s mobile transacting market is already using various payment platforms such as Telecel’s Telecash, Econet’s EcoCash, NetOne’s One Wallet, and Nettcash, a Nigerian cash trancaction platform.
Nyemudzo said the bank would continue to engage and complement mobile players. Recently, the bank partnered with Telecel for its Telecash service through a debit card rollout while also acting as an EcoCash agent for Econet.
“There are certain stages where you think you are better off complementing, join forces and launch a product. But there are certain places where you think you can do it on your own. We compete and complement but most of the time we complement so that’s one such instance,” he said.
Electronic commerce and mobile payment are already taking centre stage within Zimbabwe as more IT savvy entrepreneurs have arisen to fill the need for online payments.
Zimbabweans recently lauded the launching of PayPal in Zimbabwe which, although not yet open to merchants, will largely be used for sending money internationally, online.
Other locally developed payment platforms are Pay4App and Paynow, which are also keen to tap into the market’s desire for easier payment solutions without necessarily visiting a bank and incurring substantial transaction charges.