Steward Bank a subsidiary of Econet Wireless has launched a suite of innovative Diaspora Banking products targeted at Zimbabweans living, working or studying abroad.The product suite was unveiled by Steward Bank CEO, Kwanele Ngwenya, at an event held on Saturday (May 10) at the Radisson Blu in Sandton, Johannesburg which drew the attendance of 200 guests.
By Tongai Mwenje
The Diaspora Banking products allow Zimbabweans outside the country to carry out day-to-day banking transactions from their Steward Bank account from anywhere across the world. Customers in the diaspora will be able to access their account in one of two ways, either using the Online Banking platform or their roaming Econet line.
With the new Steward Bank Online Banking service, customers in the diaspora will be provided easy access to their accounts and have the ability to make RTGS payments, pay local bills, buy groceries and transfer money to local recipients. The days of the rogue middleman are gone as one is able to pay recipients directly.
Through EcoCash, customers can make direct payments to individuals and service providers if they have a registered Econet line that has been activated for roaming and EcoCash Banking Services. Banking Services allow customers whose EcoCash wallet and Steward Bank Diaspora account are linked access to the same EcoCash menu as those in Zimbabwe.
As long as a customer has funds available in their Steward Bank account, they will be in a position to transfer money from their bank account to their EcoCash wallet enabling them to purchase airtime to top up their phone credit. Customers will also be able to buy data bundles, make payments, send money and access their EcoCash$ave account as well as other banking services.
As part of the Diaspora Banking product suite, Steward Bank is now offering:
1) Diaspora Savings Account
The Diaspora Saving Account (DSA) is designed for savings towards a target asset purchase, or to set aside some money for unplanned eventualities, with easy access through online banking or from your mobile phone.
2) Diaspora Current Account
The Diaspora Current Account (DCA) is the transacting account which gives customers the ability to carry out payments and money transfers.
3) Fixed Deposit Account
The Diaspora Fixed Deposit Account (DFDA) – a fixed/tenure deposit account with attractive interest rates. The Account is funded conveniently through a stop order from the current account, creating convenience for the customer. The client chooses their desired length of investment ranging from 30, 60, 90 or 180 days.
4) EcoCash$ave Account
The EcoCash$ave Account is a savings account opened through the EcoCash e-Wallet.
5) EcoCash Banking Services
Diaspora Savings and Current Account holders have access to EcoCash Banking Services which allow them to move money from their bank account to their wallet, and from their wallet direct to the recipient’s mobile phone in Zimbabwe.
“There’s a significant number of Zimbabweans outside the country remitting money to Zimbabwe on a regular basis and carrying out various transactions,” Steward Bank CEO Kwanele Ngwenya said, speaking from event. “As Steward Bank, we recognize the need to make it as convenient and easy as possible for those in the diaspora to retain direct control of their finances and interests in Zimbabwe, regardless of where they are in the world.”
Mr Ngwenya added, “When we started our rebrand journey as Steward Bank, we made a commitment to be the most innovative bank in the country, using technology to advance the accessibility of banking services. The launch of our Diaspora Banking model is further evidence of that, following the successful launch of EcoCash$ave last year and more recently EcocashLoan$.”
The account opening process is simple and straight forward with customers being able to apply for their account online (www.stewardbank.co.zw/foryou/diasporabanking). In line with local regulations, customers are required to submit the relevant documentation required for opening a bank account.