Stanbic Bank has been on a major digitising drive due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bank over the months launched initiatives like contactless cards and QR-code payment platforms in order to aid public health measures. In line with the path to digital, Stanbic Bank has announced that it will close physical operations at its Hwange and Westgate branches with effect from the 31st of December 2020.
Stanbic Bank Branch closures aren’t a new phenomenon
Earlier on I said that the move to close down branches was partially influenced by the pandemic. The other part is Stanbic Bank’s transition to digital platforms which began last year by the closure of its Chitungwiza and Beitbridge branches.
With the two pending closures at Westgate and Hwange, Stanbic will have 15 branches nationwide which is a fall from the 19 it previously had.
How will this affect customers?
According to Stanbic’s Head of Personal and Business Banking Patson Mahatchi, the branch closures won’t have an effect on the bank meeting the needs of its customers.
“Our customers can still access self-service digital channels and in-branch services at any of our remaining 15 branches country-wide. We always have our clients’ needs at heart and this digitization exercise will benefit them significantly”
Mahatchi went on to say that accounts that are handled at Hwange and Westgate will be transferred to Vic Falls and Belgravia respectively.
For operations that can be done over USSD and the Stanbic Bank app, this change won’t have that big an impact. But for those that need a customer to travel to a branch the issue of distance becomes a problem.
This could also impact Stanbic’s ability to acquire new customers in the areas that they have closed down branches. This more so for Hwange because the closest branch to do that is in Vic Falls. There is at present no way to open a Stanbic Bank online or on any other digital platform. People who want to open accounts will opt for alternatives that are in the area.