By BUUMBA CHIMBULU
OVER 10,000 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have this year received support from the First National Bank (FNB) Zambia through funding and capacity building.
FNB Zambia believes in the potential of the Zambian economy and continues to strongly support Government’s diversification agenda by supporting key sectors that add to the growth of our economy.
This is according to the FNB Zambia Chief Executive Officer, Bydon Longwe, during the CashPlus milestone celebration in Lusaka.
Mr Longwe stressed that supporting key players in the economy such as the SMEs was critical in supporting Government’s diversification agenda.
“The Bank supports SMEs and this year FNB Zambia exceeded 10,000 SME customers. We have taken time to understand the needs and requirements of SMEs by creating service models that speak to specific segment.
“We recently run a Start, Run & Grow Campaign that focused on assisting SMEs in growing their companies in a sustainable manner. We have an onboarding toolkit that helps educate our client on the basics to open their account and run their business for the long term,” he stated.
Mr Longwe emphasised that digitisation and usage of alternative channels was the Bank’s key focus and that the institution was actively driving this across the market.
He said 55 percent of all the banks’ cash deposits are now made through Automatic Deposit Terminals and Cash Plus agents offering more touch points for SMEs whilst enhancing own eco system and supporting Cash Plus agents with step.
“The efficient digital channels, including our online banking offering and Point of Sale machines have given us a positive edge within the market.
“More than 80 percent of our base are signed up on digital channels with over 99 percent of all our local + foreign exchange payments & transfers being done online,” Mr Longwe said.
He said this coupled with a vibrant workforce, customer centricity and a proactive service management model continued to give the Bank a competitive edge.
The Bank’s focus, he stated, was not limited to merely transactional business, but on also helping grow and protect clients’ businesses.
“Financial Inclusion is also key to our operations as we continue to roll-out inclusive products like the revolutionary e-Wallet and the CashBack and CashPlus models. In addition, we offer Consumer Education to various income and community groups.
“At FNB Zambia, we have taken time to understand the needs of our customers and stakeholders and believe that offering seamless transaction platforms is key to providing excellent service. We believe in offering real help,” Mr Longwe said.