New Steward Bank banks on Econet relationship for product innovation

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Kwanele Ngwenya

Steward Bank CEO, Kwanele Ngwenya, toasts to the launch of the new name

Today, we attended a (now former) TN Bank event where the company launched its new name, Steward Bank. The rebranding comes a few months after the bank was acquired by Econet Wireless from its former owner Tawanda Nyambirai. It was made clear at the event by the bank CEO, Kwanele Ngwenya, that the bank’s services will be tightly integrated with its telecommunications parent Econet Wireless’s network.

Ngwenya spoke proudly of the relationship with Econet saying that it was unique globally and that they would use that connection to distribute innovative products to the market. “We are very excited to take advantage of the telecoms systems and our relationship with Econet. We are the first bank to have such a tight a relationship with (a telecoms operator) Econet,” said Ngwenya.

Also speaking at the launch, a board member, Tracy Mpofu, stressed the pivotal nature of their relationship with Econet referring to it as a unique advantage over other banks in the country. “Whereas other banks will be looking for a telco to move their innovations,  as Steward we have the services of Econet within our stable. We will take advantage of this as we move forward. We will leverage the technology that they have on the telecommunications side,” she explained.


Ngwenya wouldn’t say though what exact products the market should expect. So far, the bank has introduced financed smartphones in partnership with Econet, a service they announced back in January this year. The financed smartphone packages were introduced two weeks ago. Econet Wireless has the largest mobile money service in Zimbabwe counting more than 31% of Zimbabwe’s adult population as subscribers. When Econet acquired TN Bank they didn’t hide the fact that it was primarily to drive the adoption of EcoCash.

On what would guide their execution Ngwenya said they had spent some time researching the problems in the banking sector and the bank would seek to address them. The problems, he indicated, include the low level of confidence in the banks that the public has and general financial exclusion in the market. Ngwenya said one of Steward Bank’s key objectives is to extend banking and payments to all Zimbabweans.

Ngwenya also announced at the event that the bank’s capital base is now US $75 million, making them one of Zimbabwe’s top 5 banks by market capitalization. A lot of banks locally have struggled to meet minimum capital requirements set by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe last year, resulting in the RBZ relaxing deadlines.


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  1. dev2 says:

    game on! Eco-cash on the offensive here,should they venture into having more “corporate client” ie features for companies then anenge ave ma1 for other banks to compete and defend their clientele.

  2. gidza says:

    I hope they will improve on their lousy customer service

  3. Magneto says:

    I guess they couldn’t use “Eco-Bank”…. tihihihihihi

  4. paita shaggy says:

    Econet are ahead of the game with this! The world’s most innovative bank (1) is following in their footsteps by offering banking and mobile solutions (2).



  5. Zim Inov8 says:

    this is sweetness right here, thinking of the possibilities just fills me with great joy. all the other banks(and mobile networks) are just going to see smoke. huya uone ugodzokera. This is gonna be soo good for Zim developers. Our time is nigh gentlemen ready your code, your servers, your IDEs, our time is nigh

  6. ngth says:

    What is the meaning or thought behind the new name, it seems an odd one?

    1. togara says:

      A steward is One who manages another’s property, finances, or other affairs, however i think Mr Masiyiwa got the name from the bible for example verses like, 1 Corinthians 4:2, either way i think the name is perfectly fitting

  7. Spinoza says:

    I guess that they are holding people’s money simply as stewards.

  8. MI5 says:

    we will see where the ship stranded

  9. doctor madz says:

    Steward is an ethic that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources. The concepts of stewardship can be applied to the environment,[1][2] economics,[3][4] health,[5] property,[6] information,[7] theology,[8] etc

  10. shingi says:

    surely it cannot be among the top 5 banks by market capitalisation when it is not even listed on the stock exchange. maybe you meant to say it is among the top 5 capitalised banks in Zimbabwe which gives you a different meaning from the first assertion

  11. The Bush Lawyer says:

    No jealousy will pull you down. Well done keep it up. You are doing a fine job which many could not dream of.. Only Father Zimbabwe understood your dream. Pambili le Econet, Pambili li Eco)Cash, pambili le Steward Bank

  12. Charmaine Mxotshwa says:

    it takes 7 days to see your money after an rtgs bloody thieves am tired this is the second time nxa

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