STANDARD Chartered Bank Zimbabwe has merged some of its branches as the country’s oldest bank migrates from the brick and mortar model to digital platforms.
The development comes after Stanchart launched the first digital bank in Zimbabwe in July this year as the country’s oldest bank moves to bring greater convenience to clients by enabling them to bank from the comfort of their homes and on the go.
The bank recently said it will be merging the Gweru into the Bulawayo Branch while Masvingo Branch, Highlands, Southerton and Mutare will be merging into Africa Unity Square Branch and Bindura Branch will be housed under the Avondale Branch. The customers were transferred with effect from October 1.
Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe Head of Corporate Affairs and Brand & Marketing Lillian Hapanyengwi told Business Times that digital banking is the way to go and clients should copy up with modern trends.
“Our channel strategy remains responsive to client needs and transaction patterns on an ongoing basis.
“As our clients and the world go digital and our branch transaction traffic is decreasing, we are always evaluating how we should reform at our current channels to deliver the most efficient service to our clients,” Hapanyengwi said.
Some market observers believed that Stanchart Zimbabwe was scaling down its operations in the country due to deteriorating economic conditions and other abuses. However, Hapanyengwi said the bank has taken the conscious decision to continue to maintain its longstanding commitment to doing business in Zimbabwe.
With a history of over 125 years, StanChart remained committed to the long-term interests of its staff and customers in Zimbabwe, and to continue facilitating the development and growth of the economy. Due to digitisation drive over 70 of the most common service requests including blocking and ordering a debit card, adding/removing a signatory, requesting a visa support letter or opening an additional account, local and international funds transfer can be done without going to a bank.
Stanchart believes digitising banking in the country in line with global trends remains part of its key business strategy. Consequently, the bank is offering secure banking services via mobile devices to meet rapidly changing client needs at the right scale and clients will continue to enjoy exclusive benefits from an increased number of alliances and partnerships spanning travel, shopping and dining.
The bank has taken into consideration customers’ feedback at each stage of the design process and has incorporated innovative technology to allow them to execute all banking activities from a mobile phone via the Standard Chartered Bank App – SC Mobile Zimbabwe.
Hapanyengwi believes digital transformation has contributed to economic development and will continue to do so, in line with the country’s National ICT plan.