Digitisation to drive Steward Bank into the future

05 Jun, 2023 - 00:06 0 Views
Digitisation to drive Steward Bank into the future Steward Bank

eBusiness Weekly

Enacy Mapakame

Steward Bank’s net operating income for the year to February 28, 2023, increased by 1 189 percent from prior year, closing off at $324 billion, largely due to higher exchange gains recorded in the period under review.

Figures from the bank show that non funded income of $18,9 billion, demonstrated improvements from the prior year representing a 14 percent increase.

Net interest income for the year in review followed a similar trajectory, growing by 58 percent to $9,9 billion.

Chief executive officer, Courage Mashavave, said the bank has a number of automation projects lined up for the financial year 2024, that will see its cost structure lowered through internal development of digital solutions and digitalisation of back and front office processes, which are earmarked to further improve the banks financial performance going forward.

This comes as the bank continues to embrace digitalisation in line with global trends. The financial services sector has been at the forefront of adopting digitalisation, which was also spurred by the Covid -19 pandemic.

Official reports indicate that the year in review saw the country’s mobile banking subscribers close off at 7,8 million users as at December 2022, a significant increase of 90 percent from the same period in the prior year that had 4,1 million mobile banking subscribers.

Internet banking followed a similar trajectory, closing off at 628 thousand subscribers, a modest upheave from 607 thousand online banking subscribers recorded close of prior year.

The positive trends are partly attributed to the Internet penetration rate which increased by 2,2 percent to reach 65,3 percent for the year 2022, from 63,1 percent noted in the prior year, which is a strong indicator of the increased digital adoption within the country as well as an indicator that indirectly shows the minimisation of the existing digital divide within the country.

Notably, 78 percent of payment transactions done in the fourth quarter of the year 2022, was through mobile phones.

Statistics show the incremental use of digital platforms within the Zimbabwean landscape has also trickled down to industry and firm level with the bank, noting a 12 percent increase in online banking transaction volumes.

“The aforementioned trends are in tandem with the steps that the bank has taken to roll out digital banking products that carter for the emerging trends of the market.

“These have been instrumental in driving forward the bank’s revenue generation with strong performance noted on the bank’s digital bank pillar,” said Mashavave.

During the review period, the bank continued to grow its US dollar interest earning assets particularly in the corporate sector. This was coupled with an increase in FCA accounts which grew by 34 percent.

The bank moved to capture a share of the growing domestic and international remittance market with the opening of The Eastgate Remittance Centre, a dedicated remittance facility for customers to access funds sent from within and outside of Zimbabwe.

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