A local commercial bank, the countyry’s largest is liiking to leveraging on cyptocurrencies and emerging digital innovations to remain viable in a now global village dominated by virtual meetings.The local bank’s chair alluded to risks that come with these innovations, stating Zimbabwe is fortunate that the regulator the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has already published a Fintech Regulatory Sandbox to guide banks participation in these innovations and advanced technologies.
The bank chairman Marc Holtzman, said the lender is open-minded about new innovations, as these could open up new opportunities going forward.
“Cryptocurrencies, or rather blockchain more broadly, fintechs, bigtechs, and techfins are all exciting innovations, which are being introduced to serve specific gaps that have been exposed by the ever evolving customer needs and wants.
“Our view is that these innovations have the potential to strengthen the way we do business, the way we serve our customers, as well as open up new market opportunities.
“Such opportunities can be pursued through collaboration and cooperation with the same fintechs, hence our deliberate drive towards an open innovation strategy in which we work with and through these fintechs in areas such as mobile money, mobile wallets, and the like,” said Mr Holtzman.
“Obviously, there are risks that come with these innovations, but fortunately, in the Zimbabwean case, the regulator — the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe — has already published a Fintech Regulatory Sandbox to guide banks participation in these innovations and advanced technologies.
“This allows for prior testing of solutions, detection of potential risks and crafting of risks mitigants before solutions are launched to the wider market.”
Meanwhile, the group posted a good set of numbers for the year to December 31, 2020, with total income jumping 628 percent to $14 billion, from $1,92 billion in the prior comparable period, largely underpinned by the bank’s digitalisation programme.
“So we had our digital channels open, and we are improving them even more now, and this puts us in a great position to assert our position as the dominant bank on the market,” said Mr Holtzman.