Author: Anthony Akindele Ogunranti, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Zenith Bank Ghana
February 24, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has indisputably modified the approach we do enterprise at Zenith Bank and our interactions with stakeholders – not the least in the digitisation of our banking providers. With the rollout of a digital retail technique aimed toward driving monetary inclusion, we launched into an aggressive retail advertising and marketing and digital banking drive. As a consequence, Zenith Bank – which is well-known for its prowess in creating revolutionary digital banking services and products – ensured that its clients loved handy, straightforward and accessible banking providers tailored to their wants, since the outbreak of the pandemic.
When Ghana recorded its first case of COVID-19, we had been nicely forward of our friends in making certain easy accessibility to banking. Products that drive monetary inclusion – resembling our USSD Code product (*966#) – had been enhanced to allow extra clients who hitherto didn’t have financial institution accounts perform banking transactions seamlessly.
‘Instant Account Opening’: with *966#, account holders and non-account holders can open prompt financial institution accounts with minimal documentation and with out bodily visiting any of our branches.
‘Zenith Cash Out’: this service permits for the switch of money from any Zenith account holder to any money recipient. The requirement for this service is a token that can be utilized to withdraw money both at the ATM or any of Zenith Bank’s branches nationwide.
‘Merchant Pay’: this service is a set answer for SMEs and company entities to obtain real-time funds instantly into their financial institution accounts. Payments are made through USSD or scan to pay – Zenith Bank’s QR code cost platform.
We additionally ensured that different merchandise resembling InternationalPay, ZMobile (our mobile banking app), Zenith company web banking, level of sale terminals and our big range of playing cards (Mastercard and Visa, Cruz-Card, Eazypay GH Dual Card, GlobalTravelWallet) had been additionally enhanced to supply shoppers with a greater expertise. Following the COVID-19 well being and security protocols outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and in our quest to take care of our core line of enterprise (a necessary service required to run the economic system of Ghana), we instituted a workers rotation coverage with the purpose of attaining social distancing to curb the unfold of the virus. With the rotation coverage, 50 p.c of workers labored from residence whereas the relaxation labored from the premises of the financial institution nationwide and vice versa on a weekly foundation. With this in place, we additionally enhanced our teleconferencing instruments, which we barely used previous to the onset of the illness. Teleconferencing instruments resembling Zoom and Teams have change into our go-to apps for organising conferences, trainings, workers engagements in addition to shopper interactions.
A proud contribution
To additional adhere to well being and security protocols, we supplied all our branches nationwide with thermometer weapons to examine the temperature of workers and clients earlier than entry to the financial institution’s premises. Handwashing models absolutely geared up with cleaning soap, alcohol-based sanitisers and paper towels had been additionally supplied in any respect branches of the financial institution for each clients and workers. Furthermore, per directions by the authorities of Ghana, a ‘no masks no entry’ directive was strictly adopted by each member of workers who was on responsibility at the financial institution’s premises in addition to any shopper who visited. To this finish, the financial institution has since the COVID-19 outbreak supplied disposable masks for its total workers day by day.
Customers are actually extra inclined, first, to stay a wholesome life-style and, second, to wish to financial institution in a straightforward and secure approach
In line with our mission “to proceed to take a position in the finest folks, expertise, and setting to underscore our dedication to attaining shopper enthusiasm,” we supplied substantial monetary assist in the direction of the nation’s combat in opposition to the virus. In April 2020, after the first case of the illness had been recorded in March 2020, we donated GHS 1m ($171,500) to the COVID-19 belief fund established by the authorities of Ghana as our contribution in the direction of the combat in opposition to the unfold of the virus, in addition to to help with the welfare of the needy and susceptible in society.
Additionally, the financial institution made a contributory donation to the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB). Proceeds from this, along with funds from different banks, had been channelled in the direction of donation to the Ghana Private Sector COVID-19 fund to construct the Ghana Infectious Diseases Centre, donation of PPEs, masks and different hygiene merchandise to main hospitals in Ghana and feeding of the much less privileged throughout the peak of the pandemic. During the financial institution’s 15th anniversary in September 2020, the workers of the financial institution launched into a CSR undertaking themed ‘United in opposition to COVID-19’ the place they donated COVID-19 hygiene merchandise to hospitals and orphanages throughout the nation.
Increase in lending actions
In line with the central financial institution’s directive to lighten the financial burden on financial institution clients throughout the pandemic, the following measures had been undertaken. The financial institution rolled out credit score packages to ease the influence on companies and our valued retail clients. We carried out a two p.c flat downward overview of rates of interest for all our retail loans. Customers whose companies had been impacted by COVID-19 instantly and not directly had been additionally granted moratorium on each principal and curiosity for tenors ranging between three to 6 months. To encourage the use of the digital channels and likewise lighten the burden of our clients, the financial institution waived all charges for transactions through the following channels for a interval of three months; 1) Automated Clearing House (ACH) – bulk add through web banking; 2) Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) Instant Pay (GIP); and three) Mobile money interoperability. In partnership with Prudential Life Insurance, we additionally supplied free COVID-19 cowl to our clients who had been adversely affected by or needed to be hospitalised as a result of of the virus.
Innovative digital merchandise
Financial inclusion continues to type a serious half of Zenith Bank’s technique year-on-year. Since its inception, the financial institution has ensured the steady rollout of a big selection of revolutionary digital services and products which can be user-friendly and supply whole comfort to clients. Digital channels afford the ‘unbanked’ a chance to leapfrog obstacles to brick-and-mortar banking – resembling price and infrastructure – that traditionally have excluded them from the monetary system to have the ability to carry out easy banking transactions anytime, anyplace. Zenith Bank was amongst the first banks in Ghana to launch an app-based mobile banking service. Z-Mobile, which is offered on each Android and iOS units, permits clients to make prompt interbank transfers, arrange beneficiaries, high up investments, pay utility payments and rather more proper from their mobile telephones.
According to a 2019 report by the World Bank, Ghana is one of the fastest-growing mobile money markets on the African continent. It is estimated that about half of the 20 p.c of Ghanaian adults who’ve mobile money accounts do not need a checking account. This proves that mobile money is not only an enabler of cheaper and extra handy monetary providers for many who have already got entry however can be spreading the web to achieve those that had been beforehand financially excluded. According to GhIPSS, mobile money interoperability elevated by 358 p.c in the first quarter of 2020. Our strategic partnerships with main telecommunications and fintech firms have additionally leveraged mobile banking to achieve the inhabitants’s unbanked residents. For instance, ‘Zenith’s Bank2Wallet’ service permits clients to hyperlink their mobile money wallets to their financial institution in order to make instant transfers and funds remotely at any time of day.
We have all the time sought to be the pacesetter in the supply of superior customer support. To this finish, we’ve put in place methods that guarantee continued enrichment of the shopper expertise throughout all touchpoints. Our core service technique hinges on 4 key components: 1) entrenching customer-centricity; 2) consolidating retail and digital banking; 3) empowering workers to stay our service tenets; and 4) shopper segmentation for enhanced service supply.
To present clients with the finest expertise, we use a number of analytical instruments to measure our efficiency on the subject of how happy our clients are with the providers rendered. These embrace the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures shopper loyalty via the categorisation of clients into three main teams (promoters, passives and detractors), and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), which defines how comfortable clients are with the financial institution’s services and products.
We have additionally continued to boost our presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and, just lately, Twitter. With the assist of day by day, weekly, month-to-month and yearly analytics, this helps us collect helpful demographic details about our clients, and most significantly, preserve a stable relationship with shoppers through the digital area.
The pandemic has ushered in a brand new, digitally oriented approach of life for many individuals right here in Ghana and throughout the world. Customers are actually extra inclined, first, to stay a wholesome life-style and, second, to wish to financial institution in a straightforward and secure approach. Always dedicated to creating cutting-edge technologically pushed services and products aimed toward making banking straightforward and on-the-go for its clients, we are going to proceed to take a position closely in services and products that make sure that our banking providers stay constant and simply accessible.
We will proceed to adapt to the new regular by retaining abreast of present tendencies and educating our huge clientele on the have to go digital. Zenith Bank in the subsequent yr and past will stay steadfast in its quest to changing into the banker of first option to all our clients. Our focus areas thus stay distinctive customer support, sturdy monetary efficiency, sturdy digital banking platforms and retail banking construction. In pursuit of these, we are going to proceed to take benefit of the quite a few alternatives in the market