HomeBusiness DigestGetBucks takes on big local banks

GetBucks takes on big local banks

DEPOSIT-taking microfinance institution GetBucks Microfinance Bank Ltd (GetBucks) will soon give banks a run for their money with plans to open savings accounts and world-class disruptive technologies that will revolutionise banking, a company official has said.

GetBucks has waged a war on commercial banks, issued more bonds and unleashed a number of technology-driven initiatives that will change the face of Zimbabwe’s financial services.

The company’s chief finance officer Paul Soko told businessdigest on the sidelines of an extraordinary general meeting to ratify a name change to reflect the company’s thrust going forward on Wednesday GetBucks would launch disruptive technologies and products.

“We launched the first bond recently, which was fully subscribed and we are now currently offering the second tranche for US$15 million, which is currency open,” Soko said. “It has received some good response from the market. There is a lot of interest, at 10,25% per annum, it is the highest yielding bond of its type on the market. We want to give our investors good return, while at the same time it falls in line with our thrust to grow, hence we are raising funds to enable us to deliver greater services to the transacting public.”

Soko said the company’s ambitions are matched by the amount it intends to raise. Results of the bonds will be presented in full after the company’s year and in August, he said.
Managing director Mercy Murevesi said the company’s loan portfolio was performing well despite the harsh economic environment. Murevesi said individual loans, which are consumptive and mostly by civil servants, currently account for 65% of the company’s loan book.

Soko said the company plans to use artificial intelligence to improve services.

“All I can tell you is that we are looking to use artificial intelligence to boost our service offering since we said we are a financial services player we are going to be rolling out services that take advantage of that. This is what is happening the world over. Artificial intelligence is what is driving growth in the technological sector and we have an offering that will make use of that,” Soko said.

GetBucks has so far launched transaction accounts and was on Zimswitch, as part of initiatives to widen product offering.

Soko said the company was also fully active on the real-time-gross settlement platform.

“We are really looking forward to extending our services to the public. As you are aware, at this point in time when there is difficulty with people getting cash, we are also looking at electronic means to facilitate our customers’ transaction. Our focus is on financial technology, so we are really keen on using technology to extend financial services to our customers. Very soon you should also lookout for some interesting technology-driven products that will be unique and a first on the local market in terms of doing banking,” Soko said.

GetBucks was the first company to have an IPO on the ZSE since dollarisation and also became the first company to issue a bond on the local bourse.

Soko said the group will ride on support from its group company, My Bucks, which is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

With 14 branches across the country, GetBucks’ focus now is to extend its agent network and electronic reach to grow numbers. — Staff Writer.

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