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‘Digital platforms vital in banking’

KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
CITIBANK Zambia managing director Martin Mugambi says growth of the banking sector will come from the full implementation of digital platforms and solutions.
During a session on ‘Banking-what steps is the sector taking to reach the unbanked population’ at the Zambia Finance and Investment euromoney conference, Mr Mugambi said having in place automated systems also ensures provision of quality financial services.
“Customers should be exposed to digital platforms and solutions. This way, the transaction costs will come down and we will be able to reach the unbanked,” he said citing Kenya where there are more mobile phone accounts than those held in the banks.
He said mobile wallet is becoming a powerful tool since it is functional and flexible because it allows people to access money easily.
Making a contribution, Zanaco Bank managing director Bruce Dick said the bank is committed to reaching every Zambian.
“We have more than 500,000 people using our telephone banking and Xapit platforms…We are trying to find ways of getting every person on board,” he said.
BancABC Zambia managing director Clergy Simatyaba also said the bank is using information technology to bring the unbanked population on board.
“We are investing in technology and agency banking where we are targeting rural areas, especially those districts where it is not viable to put up structures,” he said.
Asked if the current regulatory framework is ensuring a vibrant and stable financial sector, Bank of Zambia senior director-supervisory policy Chisha Mwanakatwe said the industry is robust and is adequately capitalised.
He said the central bank is encouraging commercial banks to venture into innovations that help to capture the unbanked population.
“We do allow innovations such as mobile banking and many others that help in penetration to reach people,” he said.

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