ZANACO managing director Henk Mulder says the bank is investing significant resources in the refurbishment of its branches in order to enhance service delivery and to build a more customer-centric culture at the bank.

Speaking at the launch of the bank’s seven refurbished branches across the country on Wednesday evening, Mulder, who is also Zanaco chief executive officer, explained that the refurbished branches would provide a conducive environment for customers to conduct business.

“The launch of our refurbished branches is a key milestone in our transformation to become a more customer-centric bank and eventually top transactional bank by the year 2020. So far, seven branches have been completed and transformed into modern branches in the first phase. These are Manda Hill branch; Northmead branch; Cairo Road Business Centre; Kabwe Business Centre; Ndola Business Centre; Kitwe Business Centre and Choma branch. The second phase of the refurbishments will follow in due course. There are several exciting elements of the new branch design, but I would like to point out that the branches take a customer-centric approach and put measures in place that tackle customer pain points as customers arrive at the branch. The new branches enable customers to perform an increasingly wide-range of self-service tasks before they can even be physically attended to by staff,” Mulder explained.

He pledged that the bank would continue to train and invest in training and upskilling of its staff to ensure a high and consistent level of service quality.

“These initiatives and changes have been driven by the needs of customers and our strong desire to meet and exceed them. I am, therefore, proud to further announce that apart from Manda Hill, six other branches in different parts of the country have been refurbished and transformed into modern branches. Whilst we are happy that the refurbished branches provide an appealing and conducive environment for our customers to conduct business, we recognize that banking is more than the buildings. We have, therefore, invested significant resources in enhancing our products and more importantly in our people to build a more customer-centric culture at the bank. We have and will continue to train and invest in training and up-skilling staff to ensure a high and consistent level of service quality,” said Mulder.

And Zanaco board chairperson Charity Lumpa said the launch of the seven refurbished branches was one of the deliverables of the bank’s transformation initiatives in becoming the top transactional bank in Zambia by 2020.

“Today, we are proud to launch the first batch of the refurbished branches. This is one of the deliverables of our transformation initiatives in becoming the top transactional bank in Zambia by 2020, and as you can see, we are well on our way. We are glad that our strategic and transformational journey is starting to bear fruit and the testimonies are already rolling in; as you already know, we won the Euromoney 2018 Excellence Award and have been crowned as ‘the 2018 Best Bank in Zambia’. And the significance of this launch goes way beyond just improving the visual appeal of the branches, or simply giving them a face lift, the larger part is that the refurbished branches represent a momentous shift in how our branches are to be designed in order to enhance customer experience using technology,” said Lumpa.

“We are alive to the fact that in all things one does, one must experience growth. We have, therefore, promised and committed to supporting our customers’ drive for growth; this is manifested in our recently-launched campaign – the evergreen #Kula campaign. This promise is to help facilitate the growth of our customers, businesses, communities and the country as a whole. Therefore, Zanaco has set itself up to assist our customers and the country to achieve their greatness. We understand that greatness means different things to different people; however, the bottom line is that greatness is the quality of being eminent or distinction.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Margaret Mwanakatwe, who was represented by Ministry Permanent Secretary for Budget and Economic Affairs Dr Emmanuel Pamu commended Zanaco for the efforts that the bank was putting in improving the country’s banking sector.

“When you scan around the market, it’s easy to see that Zanaco is indeed a bank on the move! The bank has re-branded itself as a bank that supports the growth of its individual customers, businesses, the community and the country’s economy. This journey that Zanaco has embarked on to become the top transactional bank in Zambia by 2020 is an important one. It is what progressive financial institutions are doing. They are not sitting on their laurels, but they are constantly trying to find ways of responding to the shifting needs of customers. It’s gratifying to learn that Zanaco, in response to modern global shifts and customer needs, has invested significant resources to renew its business and operating models, and has developed and expanded its digital platforms that characterise modern banking,” said Mwanakatwe in a speech read by Dr Pamu.

“I’m informed that these branches are designed to empower customers to be able to conduct routine functions themselves and that they increase the availability of such services beyond normal banking hours. The sweeping technological and demographic changes that we are witnessing today mean that the banking sector would need a complete rethink of customer relationships and the method of delivering value to meet customer needs. Zanaco is known as the ‘big, strong and reliable,’ but we are also increasingly seeing that it is innovative. And innovation, particularly around digitisation, is the future of banking.”