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Apparently Steward Bank Is Not The First To Introduce A Kwenga-like Device

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Kwenga

With all Steward Bank’s innovation drive, it may come as a surprise to know that Kwenga is not the first portable POS machine to grace Zimbabwe’s financial sector.

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Who then?

CABS. CABS was the first to roll out portable POS machines. One of our readers on Techzim informed us that she saw a CABS portable POS machine similar to Steward Bank’s Kenga being used by a taxi driver.

We then contacted CABS and they confirmed they had such a device. CABS said its portable POS device was first issued last year. As for now,CABS haven’t told us when exactly last year they introduced the device.

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Could this be the reason Steward Bank seemed to have rushed to launch Kwenga?

CABS is yet to respond to us about the price of their device and the requirements to have it.

Why has CABS been quite all along about this?… Is it a secret?

Portable POS devices are causing noise as people are now preferring to ‘swipe’ for almost all their transactions. Riding on that noise, naturally I would expect CABS to parade its POS device but no they haven’t.

I’m wondering what their business model is for this device considering that I haven’t yet seen or heard an advertisement promoting its portable POS machine. Not even a press release.

Stay tuned for more information.


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CABSSteward Bank

CABS (formerly Central African Building Society) is a building society in Zimbabwe. CABS is a subsidiary of Old Mutual Zimbabwe Limited, Zimbabwe's largest life assurance organization. Old Mutual Zimbabwe is in turn a subsidiary of Old Mutual PLC - an international financial services conglomerate. The... Read More About CABS

Steward Bank, is a commercial bank registered and trading in Zimbabwe. The bank is a subsidiary of the Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. It was founded in 2001 by Tawanda Nyambirai as TN Bank. Read More About Steward Bank


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12 thoughts on “Apparently Steward Bank Is Not The First To Introduce A Kwenga-like Device

  1. econet wasnt the first mobile operator, so what,

    kwenga wasnt rushed, that was the time to introduce it,

  2. This has always been the issue at CABS. They have introduced many “firsts”, I remember trying CABS Internet Banking back in 2006 when many other banks were not “that connected”, but the service was only communicated to some clients, with many internal staff not even aware of the platform.

    I do not understand todate why this institution handles its product awarenes issues that way.

  3. The marketing side is the one that is redundant.not proactive otherwise they bring in good ideas but they have none to champion those ideas. Change management may be lacking.

  4. I run a small shop and got that Kwenga like Device from Metbank in 2016. It works very well especially for customers who dont care for printed receipts.
    I think Metbank were one of the first

  5. I’m amazed at how some people quickly arrive at “conclusions” in the absence of solid facts. CABS has been a pioneer of many innovations but it is not in their culture to stand on rooftops to proclaim them. They test their products thoroughly before shouting about them. They were one of the very first institutions to introduce POS devices in the shops (multi-lane Retail POS) as well as in their banking halls (Teller POS), even internet banking and bill payments. They had a very efficient host system called Tandem running on a fault-tolerant system called Base24 provided by ACI. Zimbank, Beverley Building Society and CBZ also followed suit in terms of the POS & host system. This is way back in the early 90s. CABS is part of the Old Mutual group, at some point Old Mutual owned 75% of properties in Harare (I stand corrected) making them a solid company as expected when offering life assurance products. Innovation did not start today, Royal Bank way back in 2003 or so, tried to introduce in-lobby Triton ATMs in restaurants to ease movement of cash. The restaurant staff would accept cash and cards and would replenish the ATM cash in a revolving fashion. The concept never took off though.
    In my view, companies like CABS, just like the traditional banks, SCB, Barclays etc remain conservative about new products because, hey, they have been around for 4 centuries what can you tell them about their business? They move slowly but surely which is why they have weathered most financial storms. They have seem many “new” banks come and go in that period….there’s not much you can tell these guys.

    1. To what benefit? You are not talking business sense
      Customers don’t care about who innovated first they care about who is providing a working service

      For now we will run with Kwenga, by the time someone at CABS thinks ohh our ideas are now ripe lets make noise we will simply ignore you just like that

      Being in the field for centuries doesn’t guarantee you the top spot especially in this age of information technology and digitization. Boot up or get booted out!

    2. Standing on top of roofs is called ADVERTISING in business. and you will recognise it as one of the basic tents of marketing. If at all you know what that is.

      Whatever “facts” you have don’t make sense here considering this is not a game of who came first but who now has a working model and who did the better marketing. The fact that the kwenga is even a headline shows the extent of its marketing.

      Its NOT necessarily the earliest innovator who wins but the better marketed. Apple did not invent the phone or computer yet ….

    3. You have to give value to the customer.Being innovative and not implementing is as good as nothing to the customer. There is a whole lot of facts we can tell these guys who have been in the industry that history doesn’t determine the future. In shona they say matakadya kare haanyaradze mwana meaning the history of saying we first introduced this doesn’t help an ordinary banker or client. Thats why steward and econet have overtaken the big players in their industries. Netone lost to econet on the mobile money(ecocash) issue. Netone launched one wallet delayed to implement econet overtook and it was a success and now Netone doesn’t even have relevant market share. Same as cabs introduced what it introduced in the 90’s and i bet only former employees of cabs know of it but failed to implement Steward has overtaken and in turn every vendor, combi owner and general dealer now banks with Steward. Whilst cabs sits and say we were the first to come up with the idea.

  6. Well in the end no matter how innovative your idea might be, without marketing its the same as nothing. CABS should fire their marketing department because they are not doing their job well.

  7. Some of you completely missed my point. I said some products at CABS are tested thoroughly before being introduced to the public. CABS advertises but perhaps their target market (being in the mortgage sector) is not necessarily the vendors who are excited about Kwenga. On the other hand, how many “innovative” products have been introduced in Zimbabwe only to face avoidable hiccups on the support side?
    I’m not the one to prescribe whats best for CABS (or any other company) in terms of how and if they want to market their products. I used to believe strongly in this marketing thing until i joined a company that hardly advertises (visibly) at all. It is one of the biggest in its field and there is no marketing department. So opinions are great, but sometimes they are irrelevant in the face of stark facts.

    1. You make excellent points. I’m told the Kwenga thingy has run into serious difficulties too.

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