By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
STANBIC Bank Zambia has in the last three years invested over K600 million in digital platforms as a way of contributing to the country’s cashless economy.
With the Bank’s digital capabilities, clients are provided with instant remote account opening, says Stanbic Bank Head Digital Transformation and Innovation, Yaza Kara.
Mr Kara stressed that the introduction of digital technology led to rapid changes within several industries, from banking and finance to retail.
“However, with a new player in town [Covid-19], one that which we cannot see – threatening our way of life, the up-take of digital technology is sky-rocketing like we have ever seen it before.
“Unlike any time in the past, the ability for consumers and service providers to conduct most banking activities digitally is not just about innovation and efficiency but may be a matter of life and death,” she said in her OP-ED.
Ms Kara said as the impact from the virus intensified, banks and other financial service providers needed to be able to provide all banking services without the usual need for branches.
In the case of the Covid-19 outbreak, she said, new digital products and services were needed to work around its challenges and stabilise the banking sector and other industries that served as the main supporting pillars of the economy.
She emphasised that there would be an increased demand for credit availability, new savings and investment accounts, new or replacement of debit and credit cards, as well as general financial advice.
She indicated that the new quarantine restrictions had seen restaurants, hotels and bars closed down, which had led to a sharp increase in demand for digital banking services.
Ms Kara however mentioned that the onus of this digital payment adoption depended on consumers’ willingness to embrace this new way of transacting.
She said it also depended on the reliability of the digital services provided and the consistent delivery of instant gratification that consumers expected.
“Financial institutions that have built seamless digital products and services, are seeing the benefits of their foresight, as customers recognise the advantages of digital options and adapt to new ways of banking,” Ms Kara said.
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU