THE People’s Bank of Zanzibar (PBZ), has adopted agency banking as part of its endeavour to take services closer to customers and for increased efficiency.
Speaking at the climax of the Customer Service Week, PBZ Head of IT, Mr Pandu Khatib underlined the significance of embracing the flourishing branchless banking system.
“We know that branchless banking through retail agents may be a far more convenient and efficient way of accessing financial services for our customers, especially small customers. “We have selected two agents for trial as we want to gauge their efficiency before we can engage more agents,” he added, insisting that the state-owned bank was keen to improve its services.
He said the bank will be able to expand their customer base by attracting new customers who were previously out of their reach.
A number of banks and other commercial financial service providers are increasingly using agents and mobile transactions to make money delivering financial services more accessible to customers.
“This is a cost-effective way of expanding our presence. Rather than using bank branches and our own field officers, we can offer banking and payment services through these agents, and agency banking enhances financial inclusion,” he added.
He revealed that the bank has set up over 100 transaction machines that will be disbursed in Zanzibar and Mainland regions, where they currently operate, as part of their branchless banking drive.
Rehema Maziku, one of the two selected pilot agents, said through agency banking, customers now have easy access to a financial institution near them, and thanked PBZ for giving an opportunity to small entrepreneurs.
PBZ joined the world in marking this year’s Customer Service Week by celebrating its relationship with customers in all its branches.
The Bank rewarded some of its esteemed customers as part of activities to mark the customer service week.
A few customers interviewed expressed satisfaction on the quality of services and products offered by PBZ, but urged the bank to work on a number of challenges, particularly ATM and network issues.