Botswana’s oldest bank, Standard Chartered, this week woke joined other banks in introducing online and mobile banking as it tries to lure back versatile young people who are always on the move.
The bank says it is introducing these services because it wants to bring the best in the market and because the innovation is a state of the art product that has won awards internationally.
Michael Wiegand, the bank’s Head of Consumer Banking told Sunday Standard at a recent press conference that they have invested a lot in the information technology (IT) to support the project.
“We have invested a lot of money on the IT system. The system is the state-of- the art and no longer have issues we had in the past,” said Wiegand.
“We recognise that we have gaps in technology,” he added.
The IT based products come at a time when trail blazers First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB) have already established themselves in the market in terms of technology driven information systems.
Standard Chartered suffered customer backlash over its system which was worsened because it was rumoured to have a server in Kenya although Wiegand said up time at ATM machines has improved and now stands at 90 percent.
The bank stated that the two products give the customers an option of accessing their accounts through the internet where they can conclude transactions online at any time of the day or night from anywhere in the world.
The customer can access banking products like Funds Transfer, Balance Enquiries and Statement Generation, Credit Card payments, Bill payments and Standing Instructions.
The bank added that for its customers, internet banking is free. Customers will only be charged for using some selected banking products such as international transfers or for cheque books.
There will be no charges for accessing services such as balance enquiries, local transfers and credit card payments.
Mobile banking will also be offered free of charge to all the bank’s customers.
“We are committed to bringing these state of the state services for free to our customers and are keen to bring affordable banking to Batswana,” said Wiegand, adding he encourages customers to sign up at the bank branches across the country from 16 August 2009.
Currently, the bank has enlisted the services of two mobile phone providers Mascom and Orange and working on bringing new kid on the block be Mobile along.
The bank will also issue e-statements for free and customers will be allowed to choose dates at which they want the statements sent to them.
Currently, a print out of a statement is charged at a flat fee of P33, but e-statements will be for free and they will save paper costs.
“We think there are a lot of customers who love our product especially young people,” Wiegand said.