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Success Story | Steward Bank

With Ecocash, banking Services are now accessible to unbanked segments via Mobile Money.

Business Challenges

Steward bank is a commercial bank in Zimbabwe. In the past, the bank faced consistent fluctuation in customer base retention and revenue generation was not improving due to less attractive banking products. Additionally, the systems and processes in place lacked functionalities to provide banking services to the unbanked segment of the region, yet innovative and efficient customer centric products are essential for customer acquisition and retention.

The Solution

Steward Bank was later acquired by shareholders of a telecommunications group. They realized the need for the deployment of innovative solutions that can reach the unbanked via mobile phones and they assessed FinTech partners that can effectively implement the innovation.

Earlier, Jethro successfully implemented the bank’s core banking system within time and budget as the fastest implementation of a full bank. Consequently, Jethro was selected as one of the implementation partners for the new solution.

The Ecocash project was a large project supported by four companies including Jethro and each company provided teams that ensured the following developments: Mobile phone /USSD development, Credit Assessment platform, Switch provider (Postilion) and the Jethro Bridge. Also, Jethro provided enhancements for Ecocash on the core banking system.

Benefits

The months following the completion of Ecocash implementation, it became possible for unbanked segments to access banking facilities on mobile devices and there was improvement in customer experience. Additionally, the platform enabled Steward bank to collaborate with its telecommunications parent company to provide several other banking products. Consequently, there was positive impact on customer acquisition and the creation of huge revenue generating steam.

Conclusively, Steward bank was not among the popular banks in the region before the innovation. However, after several years the Bank is one of the biggest banks in the region.

The Future

In the future, Steward bank can possibly ride on the platform to reduce the number of physical branches. Also, using technology more products can be rolled out to more customers in more remote areas. Also, the bank would need to include database upgrade to accommodate high volumes of envisaged requests in future. Steward bank intends to be the foremost bank in the region through Technology.