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Sunday, 13 May 2007

Banking Pressures!!!!

As the banking sector in the country enjoys a boom in the recent years largely driven by increased international trade and wider growth of the economy, it appears that the banks have not kept apace with these developments.

I strongly wonder if most of our local banks are prepared to handle the increased demand especially from the smallest clients, as these clients demand a lot patience, education and guidance on banking procedures. Its now very common to find small scale businesspersons like marketeers and charcoal burners on ATM queries prefering to access their accounts ‘electronically’.

I have seen in some cases that increased demand for banking services has overwhelmed a lot of our banks in Zambia. Its quiet common to witness a situation where the cashier is seemingly annoyed at someone for not knowing what do next. Its seems most banks are really overwhelmed by the workload and are not responding to this surge in demand.

In my view, the banks should be doing more to use the latest technology as a way of addressing these problems. Though a good number of banks have nice flat screen computers, its evident that they are not fully employing them. Take for instance, if I want to make a counter withdrawal from Lusaka, the teller will have to fax my withdraw slip to a Copperbelt branch, where I hold an account, so as to confirm my signature.

This is not supposed to be the case with the advent of ICT as the branches can easily be networked and information accessed as and when required. I implore all banks to ensure that they fully employ ICT as a way to reduce their workload, where clients can now access account details online or away from bank premises.

Herman Kunda
(Guest blogger & Lusaka resident)

1 comment:

  1. Herman,

    Interesting thoughts.
    I agree with you that our banking sector is somewhat lagging behind.

    The question I guess is to what extent it is costly to bring new "banking technology" to the fore in Zambia, in a cheap way?

    It appears that the Banks who employ more technology also are the ones charging more for those services. Barclays Zambia is a classic example. You can do telephone banking, but the charges are astronomical just for holding an account!!

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