EMERGING Harare-based financial institution Bard Santner Markets Inc and fast-growing global cash remittance start-up Kuvacash, founded by a Zimbabwean and his colleagues, have signed an agreement to enhance their operations across the country.
The agreement, sealed during the recent capital markets investment conference in London, United Kingdom, gives the two partners a new broad reach and big footprint in the local cash remittance market.
Bard executive director Lucia Chingwaru said the partnership will improve customer convenience and operational efficiency by the two companies.
“We have walked in the shoes of our customers and understand their pain. Our focus is to create strong partnerships to create convenience and efficient networks that enable money to flow with as little problems as possible,” Chingwaru said.
“We are encouraged by the signing of this new partnership and look forward to customer-driven initiatives that will develop and endure into the future.”
Chingwaru added that Bard will soon be bringing other new partners in the market to enhance its market operations and ensure clients get the best service available.
The partnership between Kuvacash and Bard combines cutting-edge technology brought by the former and a nationwide footprint by the latter to “provide easy to use, fast and cost-effective remittances from the UK, with the aim of leaving more money in your pocket”.
The techno-efficiency arrangement will be enabled by Kuvacash’s advanced remittance technology and Bard’s nationwide payout network which includes Harare, Bulawayo, Hwange and Victoria Falls, among many other places.
Bard is a new Harare-based banking and finance advisory firm founded last year by a consortium of local and regional financial players.
It recently expanded its operations to Victoria Falls by setting up Bard Santner Offshore Corporate Services to tap into the growth potential of the Victoria Falls Offshore Centre. This came as Victoria Falls is becoming an emerging financial hub, with the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange, a United States dollar-indexed bourse which offers currency stability and certainty, as its heartbeat.
Kuva was founded in 2017 by James Saruchera as a decentralised mobile wallet that enables its users to make instant secure transactions with minimal fees.
The applied blockchain technology used in this business helps to keep funds safe, while the certified partner network makes both depositing and withdrawing funds easy and protected.
Kuvacash was licensed in Zimbabwe in 2018.
Its emergence was partly influenced by the need to preserve value in Zimbabweans’ cash reserves in the aftermath of the devastating 2008 hyperinflation and the subsequent collapse of the national currency, which robbed people of their hard-earned savings and left a lingering sense of deep distrust in the banking sector.
Banks around the world are now taking advantage of new technologies to streamline their operations and give clients better services.
Yet disruptions of banks by technology has also seen a massive shift away from sending and receiving money through traditional banks.
Financial technology (fintech) startups, including growing money remittance operations, now offer seamless digital banking services with little or no fees paid.
While hedging against loss of value through inflation, Kuvacash provides locals with an advanced yet simple, secure and affordable solution for sending, saving and exchanging cash.
Chingwaru added: “Our vision is to ensure that there is seamless remittance of cash between people in diaspora and in Zimbabwe at low cost and higher levels of convenience.
“So Bard is partnering remittance players such as Kuvacash to bring technology, convenience, cost savings and local understanding to its customers. This has enabled us to create an expansive branch network of payout points countrywide.
“As we already know in the market, Kuvacash gives you the opportunity to send and receive money instantly and securely. With Kuvacash you can easily transfer funds with just a phone number to family, friends and suppliers. It has a team of over 60 staff across Europe, Africa and Latin America.
“So synergies between Kuvacash and Bard bring to the market more convenience, security and efficiency in the remittance business. This will help customers immensely and also enhance financial business development in Zimbabwe as the future of banking and financial solutions keeps on changing due to technology, growing customer needs and dynamic financial intermediation.”-STAFF WRITER