Zimbabwe Digital News
The Zim-SA Forum this week unveiled a multi-million rand partnership with South African micro-landing financier Ubank – a deal that is expected to shake-up the terrain in the diaspora banking industry.
A series of posters, communiques and adverts released by Zim-SA Forum to its multitude of members and followers on social media this week showed that Ubank will provide customised banking solutions to the Zimbabwean diaspora, believed to number between 3 to 4 million in South Africa.
Initial reports revealed in the adverts said that focus groups would participate in the development of customised products, many of which will involve banking for the unbanked, banks accounts, and remmitances.
On its website Ubank is described as offering basic banking products that include: transaction accounts (stand alone and package options), debit cards (issued with VISA), lending products (personal loans, and home loan), savings (fixed deposits, save together), funeral plan products, cellphone banking (sms notifications) and airtime contracts.
Zim-SA Forum President Anele Ndlovu confirmed that the partnership with U bank had been long in coming, as setting up banking was a long and complex process, with regulatory protocols and market considerations at play.
“Yes the ZIM-SA Forum, in partnership with Ubank SA, is inviting our communities to participate in focus group sessions which will assist in the development of various banking products and services for the Zimbabwean diaspora community living in South Africa.
“The idea is to ultimately provide a customised banking solution for the diaspora, which has been co-developed by the diaspora. All participants in the focus groups will be incentivised for their time and participation,” Ndlovu said.
He declined to provide further details, saying that a formal launch is scheduled as soon as the products had been customised. The formal launch date has not been revealed.
All South African banks offer custom-made products for African diaspora communities in South Africa at sub-level, and U bank is mainly focused in the mining sector and lower-income blue-collar worker.
In 2010, the bank once formerly known as Teba Bank was rebranded and now operating as Ubank Limited.
The bank has a long association with the mining industry, including mineworkers, mining companies, the National Union of Mineworkers, and the Chamber of Mines who are all understood to have played a significant role in the development of U bank.
Readers of this newspaper who are interested in the focus groups should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or ZIM-SAForum@ubank.co.za.
SMS to 072 898 7527 or 076 058 1268 or click on and complete the electronic form at this link,
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