STANBIC Bank has launched a new low-cost transactional account set to benefit most unbanked individuals including university students and sole traders as the institution complements the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)’s focus on financial inclusion.
Through its “BluEase” account, Stanbic says it wants to prove that it is easy to open an account without the usual “know your customer” (KYC) process, which banks and financial institutions use to verify the identities of existing and potential clients before establishing business relationships.
The bank’s head of personal and business banking, Mr Patson Mahatchi, said that BluEase was a low-cost and low KYC card account for which customers only require their ID to open.
He said in addition to complementing the focus on financial inclusion, BluEase also presents a platform for the bank to achieve its sustainability goals, which include customer-centricity.
“BlueEase seeks to complement the regulator’s five-year road map of co-ordinated actions that will be followed to achieve the country’s financial inclusion objectives,” he said.
According to Stanbic, KYC had rendered many individuals such as university students, informal and sole traders “unbankable” as they faced challenges meeting some account opening requirements such as proof of income.
Groups such as low-income households, youths, small holder farmers, those in rural areas, amongst many others, stand to benefit from products such as the BluEase account, said Mr Mahatchi.
He said Stanbic Bank launched the new product with such groups of people in mind especially as this was in conformity to the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).
The NFIS seeks to address barriers to financial inclusion, prioritise and address the needs of special target groups that are underserved, through the implementation of key priority measures that will facilitate the building of robust financial infrastructure with the view to reducing the level of financial exclusion.
BluEase clients will enjoy low transacting costs and a debit card in addition to a variety of digital banking platforms such as mobile banking, online banking and electronic wallet services.
Mr Mahatchi said Stanbic Bank was determined to play its part in ensuring that all Zimbabweans have access to essential financial services.
He said the bank would also strive to ensure the Central Bank targets of increasing the overall level of access to formal financial services within the country from 69 percent in 2014 to at least 90 percent by 2020 are met.