Digital systems keeping Zim banks relevant


The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe says adoption and enhanced usage of emerging Information Communication Technology (ICT) platforms will help banks roll out financial services to the country's unbanked population and boost financial inclusion.

Several system collapses at banks over the past few years has eroded public confidence in the country's financial services and banking industry. Banks have also been reluctant to build new branches, citing costs and high capital requirements.

However, speaking in Harare on Thursday Zimbabwe central bank deputy governor, Dr Charity Dhliwayo said "Banks should adopt ICT based agent banking models to address challenges in the brick and mortar banks such as high costs."

Most banks are moving in to adopt mobile and internet banking, with Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe saying on Wednesday that its new online platform is now ready. The platform can be accessed from anywhere and utilises the internet to offer normal bank services.

Dr Dhliwayo added that mobile money was also key to the financial inclusion strategy due to be launched this month.

Zimbabwe has three mobile companies that all offer mobile money platforms and, she added this had boosted financial inclusion. "The increase in financial inclusion to about 60% was mainly because of money and this is still key as we move forward with the financial inclusion strategy," she said.