Sunday, January 16, 2022

‘Banking set for exciting times’ – BancABC

Great opportunities, driven by fast-changing technology lie ahead for banking with the opportunities presenting unique ways of taking the industry to customers and making it more convenient for them, says BancABC.

The bank has evolved significantly, particularly over the recent past, operating as a merchant bank and commenced commercial banking operations in July 2010 with the opening of its first branch at The Square in the new CBD.

BancABC Managing Director Botswana, Jitto Kurian, said that during the transition period the priority was to ensure that the retail project that the bank embarked on took shape as envisaged. This is in a bid to shore up existing business growth.

“As a bank we see opportunities in many areas that we have not historically been active in or had not fully immersed ourselves in,” Kurian said.

Competition is a good signal for customers, giving them choices that they did not have in the past.
However competition is likewise healthy for the banks, despite present challenges, Kurian said. In a competitive environment, banks have to learn to value their customers and not take them for granted. Banks have to learn to be creative and start looking at banking from the customer’s perspective.

“It’s a win-win situation for both the customers and the banks that are willing to adapt to the changing environment,” said Kurian.

“We are in a service industry and so our service must be top notch,” he said, adding that in this regard, banks have some way to go yet.

“In order to improve service quality, late last year we opened a toll-free Customer Service Centre where customers with queries can telephone free of charge to lodge their queries and receive quick query resolution.”

As a relatively newcomer into an established industry in Botswana where some players have operated for over 100 years, BancABC has to play catch up in a relatively short time.

However, Kurian said, time is not a luxury and BancABC has had to multi-task and move at great speed with various initiatives so that they are able to offer their customers a great value proposition.
He said the bank is guided by the Bank of Botswana’s two-year moratorium on any upward adjustment of bank charges and fees with effect from January. This is a bid by the central bank to stave off an increase in tariffs.

“So we will take the central bank directive in our stride,” said Kurian.

The BancABC MD pointed out that the Botswana operation has been growing over recent years, its contribution to the group increasing significantly over the same period.

He said they have been able to do that through their various initiatives, some of which he has alluded to previously.

He added that the support that they receive from customers and the backing of a great team at the BancABC Botswana operation have enabled the bank to get to where it is today.

“In order to create our own pool of skilled resources we introduced a graduate training program a few years ago where under every year we take on new graduates who embark on a 24-month program where the trainees have the opportunity to work in all the areas of the bank and also be attached to one of our sister operations in either Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia or Zimbabwe for a short period,” the MD stated.

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