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Saturday, June 22, 2013

CRDB Bank PLC Pioneers Agency Banking in Tanzania, Targets the Unbanked Population...!

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Mkurugenzi Mtendaji wa Benki ya CRDB, Dr. Charles Kimei akiwaelezea wageni waalikwa nia hasa ya Benki ya CRDB kuanzisha huduma za kibenki kwa njia ya mawakala iliyopewa jina la fahariHuduma.
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Mkurugenzi wa Masoko wa Benki ya CRDB, Tully Esther Mwambapa akiwakaribisha wageni waliofika kushuhudua uzinduzi wa fahariHuduma.
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Afisa wa Benki ya CRDB anayehusika na huduma za kibenki kwa njia ya mawakala(fahariHuduma),Donat Mushi akitoa somo juu ya namna ya kuwa wakala na faida zake.
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Mwanamuziki wa kizazi kipya Mataluma akiwa na wacheza shoo wa THT wakiwaburudisha wageni waalikwa.
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Naibu Mkurugenzi wa Benki ya CRDB, Esther Kitoka akitoa zawadi kwa baadhi ya wageni waliohudhuria uzinduzi wa fahari Huduma.
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 Wafanyakazi wa benki ya CRDB wakifurahi kwenye picha ya pamoja na Mkurugenzi wa Masoko wa Benki hiyo, Tully Esther Mwambapa kwenye uzinduzi wa fahariHuduma.
 Leading  Financial Services provider CRDB Bank PLC has beat the pack to be the first bank in Tanzania to launch Agency Banking Services dubbed “FAHARIHUDUMA” in yet another move aimed at expanding its reach to provide services to the unbanked population in the country. Agency Banking is a concept whereby a commercial bank contracts an entity or individual to provide specific services on its behalf, bound by a written contract between the bank and the ‘agent’.
Speaking during the launch of the Service, CRDB Bank Managing Director Dr. Charles Kimei said the Bank continues to leverage technology and innovation in its service delivery so as to consistently provide unrivalled customer experience in the banking industry in Tanzania and by extension Burundi.
Dr. Kimei said: “Low incomes and high cost of banking coupled with lengthy procedures and the obvious lack of extensive bank networks have denied many Tanzanians the valuable financial services provided by banks and hence slowed our development as a country”.
“As a bank, we are committed to ensuring that reliable banking services are easily accessible and the CRDB Agency Banking model provides just the right solution that the financial services industry needs,” Dr. Kimei added.
The MD noted that the CRDB Agency Banking model will provide a uniquely placed and profitable avenue to serve the unbanked population within the existing banking environment and subsequently grow the bank’s customer deposits by tapping into the retail market and attracting the bottom of the pyramid. Only a marginal 12.4% of the Tanzanian population is formally banked and this is mainly due to poor infrastructure, lack of awareness, social exclusion and low literacy levels.
“With “FahariHuduma” model, all our customers will access the banking services through our appointed agents across the country. We are working with reputed businesses, government offices as well as other credible institutions within market centers to provide these services on our behalf so that we cover remote and sparsely populated areas which are often alienated due to poor infrastructure,” said Dr. Kimei.
“Tanzania Postal Corporation has formally agreed to be one of biggest agents by letting us use their outlets country wide for the service” added the MD. “We are also in final agreements with many other large institutions and individuals to become our agents and help achieve this important milestone”.
“At this initial stage, our agents will be connected to our agency banking platform through our Point of Sales and be equipped with a telephone set with SimBanking facility to facilitate deposit taking and withdrawals.  All the agents need to do is to open and fund an agent float account with the Bank and we will take care of the rest,” said the Chief Executive.
The CRDB Bank Head also explained that CRDB Bank agents will offer a range of banking services including: card/cash deposit and withdrawal, cash disbursements and repayment of loans, payment of utility bills, retirement and social benefits, transfer of funds (within CRDB bank network), balance inquiry and generation of mini statements as well as collection of documents in relation to account opening, loan application, credit and debit card application.
“These comprehensive services will be offered by our agents but the number of services to be offered will be determined by the Agent’s rating during evaluation,” He stated.
Dr. Kimei further promised Tanzanians of more innovative and world class services still to come, “We will continue to invent new ways of delivering our products and services in a manner that will endear the bank to its customers and agency banking is one such channel as it not only eliminates the need for customers to travel long distances for service but also makes it cheaper for them to access our products and services,”
Head of Marketing, Research and Customer Service at CRDB Bank Ms. Tully-Esther Mwambapa speaking at the function added: “In this set up, the CRDB Bank branches will be a crucial component because the appointed agents will be linked to them (the branches) for first level support and ensure compliance; customer service and standards are adhered to.”
The concept of Agency Banking has been adopted widely in other parts of the world including neighboring Kenya and is viewed as the most cost effective strategy for banks to expand their networks. The cost of network expansion using Brick & Mortar (traditional branches) is expensive in terms of construction, maintenance, hiring, rentals, communication and infrastructure.
Last month the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) approved CRDB Bank’s application giving it a green light to launch the service effective May 2013. These developments come even as the Bank continues to solidify its position as a leading financial services provider in the region. Earlier in the year, the bank announced impressive financial performance with a TZS107 Billion profit that was attributed to increased customer deposits and innovative products. Managing Director Dr. Charles Kimei believes that there is huge potential for the bank in Tanzania and other neighboring countries and an active plan is in place to increase the footprint month on month.

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