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Who exactly is Steward Bank looking for???

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I’m sure by now you know that Steward Bank is looking for freelancers (teams or individuals) to collaborate with on some fintech projects. If not, well then this should help free you from that rock!

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Anyway, as per promise, we will be helping you understand what the collaboration is all about. We’ll take it one step at a time so for now let’s answer this key question:

What exactly is Steward Bank looking for?

The best way to answer this question is by first figuring out what Steward Bank is all about. What they are pursuing and what their vision is etcetera.

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Of my interactions with them, I noted one or two things about them that sets them apart. Of course, I acknowledge that these may not be the only things, but at least from where I stand that’s what I see:

1. Steward Bank is moving towards being a digital bank, exclusively.

2. Steward Bank is a mass bank

I think it’s now obvious that we are in a transition, by we I mean the world. We are moving from that which we know now towards digital. The advent of the internet has contributed immensely to this. However, the problem that most businesses face is the failure to recognise, or even more importantly acknowledge this. See, it’s one thing to know that “oh yes, people now interact online etc” but it’s another to acknowledge the fact that this reality then changes a whole lot of other things, if not all. It is only after acknowledging it that one can then think of ways of riding on the wave or even better taking advantage of it.

From what I see so far, Steward Bank has gone past the know and the acknowledging stage, they are now on the how do we take advantage of this? stage and that’s critical.

The desire to go digital also came at the opportune time of the cash crisis or it’s the other way round, but whatever the case, we are here now aren’t we? The cash crisis helped shift the status quo and the mindset that came with it – the belief that life cannot go on without physical cash. Of course these were not the best circumstances but they surely lubricate(d) the process of going digital.

I know people often reject going digital because they fear that the internet penetration in Zimbabwe (49.5% according to the 2017 Potraz Q3 report) is still too low for that and hence its appreciation is as well. But… apart from the fact that in less than a year, Zimbabweans started using electronic money for at least 80% of their transactions, there’s still one thing we’re missing: digital does not mean online, no.

Digital can be online or offline, a quick example is the use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes like Steward Bank’s *210#.

About Steward Bank being a mass bank…

Well, so growing up banking wasn’t for everyone. It was for the working class, formally employed working class that is. You had to produces tonnes of documents (tonnes is exaggerated but I’m sure you get the point) for you to finally become a customer, not to mention how much the initial deposit had to be. As a result, some people just skipped the whole banking thing.

Then Steward Bank came into the picture….

I remember opening a Steward Bank account using just my ID and $5. It was a simple and straight forward process. I didn’t have to be in some long queue or anything since the bank had registration points stationed all around the CBD. This resulted in so many people coming on board hence their motto “Everyday banking for  everyday people”. I won’t even begin to talk about how they then quickly pushed Point of Sale (POS) machines into the system just so people could easily transact and not really have to think much about the logistics thereof.

So, what is Steward Bank looking for?

Simple: Steward Bank is looking for freelancers that they can partner or collaborate with to make this work through the various projects they have in store.

You need to have skills that can fit into these goals and demonstrate them. And no, you’re not going to demonstrate them at an interview because you are not going to be called for one. Your portfolio is interview enough (let those who have ears hear!).

If you think your skills can fit here or were somehow convinced by the reasons we wrote in the last article, then go ahead and sign up here. 

And by the way, there is no deadline to this call; it’s on going (but we will be talking about that in more detail soon, like I said, let’s take it one step at a time).


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2 thoughts on “Who exactly is Steward Bank looking for???

  1. I skipped opening a Steward Bank account on account of the” tonnes” of documents they were asking g for. It was like you were applying to get into the bank vault or you were asking for a loan. I thought the interrogation should be the other way round since I was going to entrust them with my money

  2. POS specifically EFTPOS is not a new concept – I was involved in EFTPOS s/w development from 1995 when Zim’s economy was at its peak. ATMs again are nothing new…Standard Bank offered its MoneyLink debit card around 1995.. I worked for a company that tried to introduce in-lobby ATM banking (within restaurants etc) to recycle money around 2003 but the concept was not taken up by banks at the time (Royal Bank et al) . Whichever way one looks at “mass banks” the challenge is always a moving target – customer support. I have experienced this first-hand from working for an ICT company as well as working for international banks, locally and internationally……I doubt that nothing much has changed in this arena. The decision-makers at Steward need to swallow their pride – they don’t know everything!

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