STANDARD Chartered Bank is focused on providing world-class service to all its customers. This is clearly demonstrated by its role as the sole Visa and MasterCard acquirer in Zimbabwe.
“The current economic environment makes it
inconvenient to settle payments for goods and services in cash. This is where acquiring provides unparalleled convenience,” said Ralph Watungwa, the bank’s executive director responsible for consumer banking.
Acquiring is a process where the bank invests in advanced technology to provide a payment platform that facilitates settlement of bills using plastic money.
Standard Chartered has invested in over 1 000 point-of-sale machines which are distributed in various merchants throughout the country. Individuals holding Visa and MasterCard branded cards are able to make payment for goods and services by swiping their cards on the point-of-sale machines.
This facility is available to both local and foreign card holders as long as they are Visa or MasterCard-branded.
“To ensure maximum benefit to our customers, we have ensured that every current account holder has a debit card,” said Watungwa.
The bank has developed various products around the debit card besides the traditional ATM transactions where customers are able to access their money 24 hours a day.
One of such products allows customers to access cash from purpose-designed cash kiosks.
The product has the advantage of offering as much as $250 million compared with a maximum of $9,5 million accessed through the ATM.
On the other hand, the kiosks offer extended opening hours, opening up to 6pm on week days and up to 1pm on Saturdays.
Currently, the bank has three such kiosks in Harare at Karigamombe Centre, Westgate and Old Mutual Centre. Plans to open additional such outlets in Bulawayo and Harare are at an advanced stage.
“With a debit card, our customers are able to swipe through merchants, retailers, wholesalers, hotels, restaurants and department stores. We have an agreement with some of the supermarkets that avail our customers cash-back facilities at the point of purchase. Cash-back is where customers can access cash from the merchant with the purchase obviating the need to go to the bank or ATM. Such is the convenience that we are well-known for,” said Watungwa.
The bank is in the process of restructuring its card-issuing business and will soon withdraw the credit MasterCard from the market.
“The decision to withdraw the credit card is driven purely by current market conditions and the bank has capability to re-introduce it once the economic conditions improve. At the end of the day, our decisions on products are driven by consumer needs.
“I would like to stress that the use of debit cards and other products still remains available to all our customers and we encourage our customers to take advantage of the additional cash kiosks that we are opening soon,” Watungwa added. — Staff Writer.