BancABC, the panÔÇôAfrican banking outfit, announced a robust┬á plan aimed at engaging┬á its peers in the market as it looks ahead to the introduction of its commercial banking facilities slated to be fully functional in last quarter of the year.
The move coincides with strong ┬ásentiments in the market that the commercial banking sector┬áis expected to guide the economy out of the recessionary period┬á during the second half of the yearÔÇöas the sector is planning to go on a spending binge.
Barclays Bank is expected to┬áget into the second half in a rejuvenated mood┬áas it intends to┬ájerk-up the corporate sector while BancABC is expected to take a two prong approach aimed at building its image in the retail and commercial sector.
“We have a roll-out plan which will see us opening our flagship branch┬áhere at our head office,” Managing Director of BancABC, Jitto Kurian, said.
BancABC┬áopened its first branch at the SquareÔÇönear Square Mart in CBDÔÇöon July 5, and the main┬ábranch is to be opened in November at its headquarters near Showgrounds. The branch will be housed within┬áthe bank headquarters complex that was built at a tune of P 25 million.
The┬ábank is planning to┬áhave┬áfour branches by the┬áend of the first quarter ┬áof next year, which will be┬á complemented by┬á four┬á at branches while another four will be off-site.
BancABC said it has a unique technology dubbed ‘24┬áHours Zone’┬áthat comes with features that have never been seen in this country before.
“Once it is fully operational, not only will a customer be able to access ATM, he will be able to access other services,” he added.
Embolden by the roll-out plan,┬áKurian┬á said┬á his bank is planning to differentiate itself from others through product┬á offering,┬á the use of technology and at the same time up the scales in terms of efficiency.
The┬áretail banking sector is the most profitable in Botswana, which has seen the top leading four banks raking huge profits due to Batswana’s appetite for┬áhousehold loansÔÇöwhich is┬á rated around 58 percent┬á of total loans disbursed by commercial banks.
“We believe that we have the right people taken through an intensive training,” Kurian said, adding that the aim is to increase their market share from three percent at the moment.
“We are really excited about our┬áentry into the retail banking. Under merchant (wholesale) banking model, our customers base was predominantly corporate and we had limited product offering. Our entry into commercial banking enables us to offer our┬ácustomers, both corporate and individuals, a more holistic range of financial products and services,” he said.
BancABC is planning to use its principal membership to VISA to give┬áits customers┬áunlimited access to their cash and services while at the same time cutting down on cost of putting up ATMs.
BancABC is part of African Banking Corporation, which is listed on the Botswana and Zimbabwe stock exchanges.
The company, which is expected to report better than expected results from its Botswana division,┬áclosed the week on Friday at 125 thebe.