Steward Bank (Steward) has just launched Square World, both a payment service and a platform which enables the Zimbabwean diaspora to access various financial services provided by Steward. Essentially, cuts out middlemen who have been facilitating the payment of services and accessing of financial services for the Diaspora.
CEO for Steward Bank, Lance Mambondiani said that they saw an opportunity to revolutionise digital banking in the disapora and offer a service that would be readily available and accessible to those who are overseas.
“Square World is an innovative banking app from Steward Bank that enables both customers and non-customers to access financial services anywhere, at anytime. It also offers an exclusive package that includes a Mobile App, a USSD based banking platform, Telephone and Online Banking. The application provides universally accessible financial services, allowing a foreign-based Zimbabwean to seamlessly integrate their MasterCard or Visa Card to the mobile app and make payments back home in addition to other services,” he said.
The application will provide the diaspora access to (almost all) banking services a Steward’s customer in Zimbabwe currently enjoys. Square World takes from Square 2.0, another platform of Steward’s which it introduced early this year that also allows customers and non-customers to access financial services anywhere, anytime.
Zimbabweans in the diaspora will be able to;
- Open diaspora account
- remit money,
- pay bills
- pay Ecosure applications or to apply for cover
- register and manage for Mukando
- pay bills with Visa or Mastercard
The app is already accessible for download on Google Playstore and App store.
Steward has been trying to tap into the foreign currency that comes with diaspora customers since 2014 by its introduction of Diaspora Banking. Actually, many local banks have lately been creating financial products targeted for Zimbabweans leaving abroad. By introducing the Square World app, Steward is effectively working to rake in foreign currency by bringing its diaspora clientele closer to its core banking services, rather than just giving them access to a limited number of services.
And based on current trends in Zimbabwe and world over, digital platforms will no doubt become the preferred and dominant business model for banks and financial institutions in the future. Digital platforms offer a financial institution’s customers the ability to connect with financial service providers through an online or mobile channel as an integrated part of their day-to-day activities. Customers now spend the majority of their time on digital (e.g. social, messaging) platforms. Therefore, financial institutions are now compelled to position themselves where their customers are and create a matching digital platform relevant to their customers’ requirements.