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First Capital embraces innovation

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Last week, the bank announced that it had embarked on two major developments that will help reshape service delivery for its key segments, including going totally paperless in the next two months.

RONALD MUCHENJE

Given the rise of mobile money in Zimbabwe and the uptick in electronic money usage in light of hard currency challenges, many banks have transformed to become more digital by default and increasing their digitalisation drive to reduce costs and to improve the customer experience.

 Under the partnership with Hellopaisa, First Capital will offer “cash payout” services to walkin customers across its branch network with a valid Hellopaisa token code after all the necessary checks have been conducted, adding to the bank’s money transfer services.

 “We are excited about this partnership and the value it will unlock for our customers. In today’s operating climate, our mandate is to offer diverse banking solutions that align with consumer needs by providing convenience and relevance. Our inspiration is drawn from the opportunity to tap into new markets through value-adding partnerships such as these,” First Capital Bank managing director Ciaran McSharry said at the launch of the Hellopaisa partnership.

Hellopaisa Money Transfer Agency has set the pace of the remittance market with major operations in South Africa, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.

Meanwhile, the bank will now be “going paperless” for all personal transactions in-branch, a process which will run till 30 April 2022, after which customers will be expected to transact digitally.

Speaking on the initiative of “going paperless”, the consumer banking director, Angela Kamhiriri, said the initiative will also align the bank with global trends and standards of digital banking.

“Through the transition we will continue to invest in system development where our collective efforts will ease migration for our customers.  Whilst we have made this announcement today, we are extending a notice period to our customers and clients to give them adequate time to migrate to paperless banking by registering on our diverse digital platforms.  Our role is to ensure that all our customers transition with ease during this exciting journey,” she said.

 In the face of Covid-19, Zimbabwean banks have also had to adopt new ways of working, upgrading both back-office and client-facing digital capabilities, and driving paperless approaches and automation.

Expectations are that a portion of Zimbabwean bank employees will continue to work from home indefinitely, as the effects of vaccination programmes are yet to be seen. Also, as some of the largest users of corporate real estate, banks will be revisiting office configuration and work locations.

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