Earlier today Steward Bank, a wholly owned entity of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, introduced its new Agent Banking model to the public at a launch in Harare.
Under this new model, selected EcoCash agents will offer a number of services under the Steward Bank banner. Steward Bank is also introducing the AllSave Bank account as the primary account for individuals which can be opened and serviced through this agent network.
This AllSave Bank Account has no monthly service fees, has access to personal loans as well as online banking and EcoCash Wallet services
Under the agent banking model the EcoCash agent assumes the role of a traditional banker only this time it will be at the agent’s premises. This also mean that banking hours are extended as you can carry out transactions at any agent as long as they are open.
The banking services that are available immediately through agent banking are
- Deposits by cash, direct cash deposits and card
- Cash withdrawals by card
- Bill Payments
- Internal transfers
- Balance inquiry and request for mini statement
- Acceptance of applications for opening the AllSave Bank Account which the agent will then take to bank branches for processing
- Card collection
These agents will be equipped with hardware necessary to connect to the Steward Bank servers to ensure that transactions will be carried out in real time.
All this is part of Steward Bank’s objective to boost financial inclusion, a task that will be accomplished a lot faster thanks to the extensive EcoCash network which now boasts of over 10,000 agents.
This new neighbourhood bank approach which brings conventional banking closer to people accustomed to formal transactions only through the mobile money revolution has reduced the potential client market for conventional banks.