Radical change in financial services beckons
Prosper Ndlovu Business Editor
ZIMBABWE could set the pace towards a radical change in the distribution of financial products in the region through adoption of online shopping for insurance and banking services, an expert said.
The Diaspora community stand to benefit immensely from the new innovative financial services that offer a wide range of financial packages from different companies.
A new platform, the first online shopping mall in the country, ZimSelector.com, has grabbed the opportunity that seeks to improve customer convenience in accessing insurance and banking services without manual processing.
The new platform puts Zimbabwe on the same international platform with other developed societies on the globe who now use the online shopping mall as a predominant way of buying financial products.
ZimSelector.com’s director of business development, Zelina Francis, a UK based financial expert said they have started rolling out the “exciting” service following the official unveiling of the platform in Harare early this month.
“The fantastic news for Zimbabweans at home and in the Diaspora is that you can now compare and buy insurance and banking products from leading brands online without having to visit an enquiries desk or make a phone call,” said Francis.
“This exciting new Zimbabwean company, ZimSelector.com, threatens to radically change the way financial products are distributed.
“The people that stand to gain the most from this facility are Zimbabweans that live abroad since they can now for the first time ever, take ownership of and insure their assets and families back home easily and safely online without having to rely on a friend or relative to do it for them and risk losing their money in the process.”
Banking and insurance firms that include CABS, CBZ Group, CIMAS, Fidelity Life Group, Nicoz Diamond, Old Mutual and Zimnat Insurance have endorsed the setting up of the new facility and availed their brands for partnership in rolling out the new service.
“The facility allows customers to compare the product benefits and prices from a wide range of insurers; select their preferred product and buy online in a matter of minutes,” added Francis.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, John Mangudya has said the central bank was in support of such information communication technology (ICT) driven financial platforms that are “well aligned to the RBZ’s policy of financial inclusion and as an important platform for those in the Diaspora to invest back home.”
He applauded the unique attributes of ZimSelector.com stating that the platform resonates very well with the current trends in ICT.
“Any innovations, which involve the mobilisation of financial resources like ZimSelector.com is worth supporting because the country needs resources for economic growth,” said Mangudya who also congratulated the participating brands for their willingness to be transparent and commitment towards simplifying products.
The new shopping facility already offers insurance services covering, motor, home, life, funeral, medical, travel and other service payments that can be done online using international cards, Zimbabwean cards or EcoCash.
“You can even apply for a new mortgage, bank account, investments or mortgage online from anywhere in the world. This transformational mode of selling products is set to change the way financial products are distributed,” said Francis.
She assured customers of the security and authenticity of the new firm, which she said was committed to remain compliant with the RBZ regulations.
“We’re a registered multiple agent with Zimbabwe’s Insurance Pensions Commission. Having deployed the solution in a world class data centre, customers can be assured of highest availability and security for all their financial transactions,” she said.
“This launch is just the beginning. The plans for the future include extending the service to include more trusted brands as well as products like international money transfers, property developments and stock market investments.”
ZimSelector.com team is led by Luke Ngwerume, a financial services industry expert and former Old Mutual chief executive officer.
Francis boasts of international experience in financial services technologies that has influenced the development of the new financial solution for Zimbabwe.
She said her team has years of experience in the financial services and technology sector in this country and abroad, spanning across insurance, banking, investments ICT and marketing.