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Steward Bank Claims 150K People Opened Accounts In A Week After Launch Of *236# Banking

Just last week, Steward Bank launched a first-of-its-kind service in the form of *236# Banking. This allows people to open an account in ‘60 seconds’. Of course, you’ll have to go and collect your card after this process but it’s easier than what competitor banks are asking you to do before you have a bank account.

It seemed like a genius move when it was announced and one week and a statement from Steward Bank later it seems that *236# has been a success. The official Steward Bank Twitter channel announced that

Consolidation of power

Steward Bank is already the bank with the largest customer base in the country. Before this, they had a sizeable advantage still and after their claims that they have added 150 000 customers over the last weeks, it seems they are cementing that position.

If you need some context regarding how huge a number this is, between February 2017 and February 2018, Steward bank signed up 176 thousand customers. In one week they have managed to sign up 150k. The fact that they’ve managed to pull off what was essentially a year’s work in less than a year is a reflection of how technology can really take you on a different tier.

As at March 30 this year, there were 5,51 million bank accounts and 57% of these were low-cost accounts – similar to the ones you can open through *263# Banking service. Once you consider that in Steward Banks’ half-year results they disclosed that they had 747 729 customers it’s safe to estimate that Steward Bank has 890 000 customers or more. This means that they have about +/- 15% of the banking sector which is a HUGE number once you consider the fact that they are competing with 17 other commercial banks.

Kashagi helping push users over the edge?

Announcing the Kashagi Nano Loans Scheme alongside *236# Banking was probably a genius move as it instantly incentivised joining Steward for whoever was facing some of the problems that are being solved by Kashagi. It was probably more tempting once most learnt that these fees are credit-free, though there’s still a handling fee customers incur once they get the loan.

A colleague I work with was surprised by this number of subscribers because he felt people would not be too eager to open their bank account on their phones. I wasn’t of the same view because I feel EcoCash has already paved the way for a service such as *263# banking and most people now just understand that you can do a lot from your phone. With services like mobile money wallets and EcoFarmer, I’m sure even the people you would think don’t understand this stuff have adjusted and are now comfortable getting services from their handsets.

What do you think was the reasons for this unprecedented growth?

Listen to our Podcast On Steward Bank *236# And Kashagi Nano Loans


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3 thoughts on “Steward Bank Claims 150K People Opened Accounts In A Week After Launch Of *236# Banking

  1. This is innovative….I mean I get an account instantly and I don’t have to fill out paperwork… What more do you want… As usual banks are sleeping but with their profits up why not….. Whether people use these accounts is another story…

  2. I am trying to repay my loan but I am getting a response that there is no value. This has been going on after several attempts.

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