ZB's tech project boosts financial inclusion

HARARE - ZB Bank (ZB) says its technological infrastructure project in the border city of Mutare has boosted financial inclusion in the remote region.

Its chief executive, Ronald Mutandagayi, said the introduction of digital payment systems saw an increase in the region’s population that now keep savings outside the formal banking system.

“Prior to our arrival in Mutare, the unbanked community accounted for a significant percentage of the population with savings at home, in stokvels (round groups) and those who believe in ‘keeping the wealth of the family’,” he said.

Mutandagayi said this in a statement released jointly with United Kingdom headquartered cross border payments provider ZymPay, after signing a partnership last week.

“Our presence in Mutare is not merely a business decision but a community development based one, where we seek to research and identify challenges and obstacles to growth and proffer solutions,” said Mutandagayi.

Technological innovations were some of the factors that underlined ZB Financial Holdings (ZBFH)’s performance during the year ended December 31, 2017.

ZB — ZBFH’s flagship unit — recorded a 35,7 percent increase in profit after tax to $15,51 million for the year ending December 31, 2017 from the $11,43 million realised in the same period in 2016.

Total income improved by 12 percent to $72,69 million during the period under review from 2016’s $65,07 million.

The net profit margin was 21,34 percent showing the company was in a profitable position.

However, of concern was the company increasing its Treasury Bill stock by 31 percent to $155,94 million for the period under review from $118,63 million earned at the end of 2016.

— The Financial Gazette

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