Stan­bic Zam­bia Shares Women Fi­nance Propo­si­tion in Kenya

Zambian Business Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Zam­bia’s premier busi­ness news provider the Zam­bia Busi­ness Times caught up with Chanda Chime Ka­tongo the Stan­bic Bank Zam­bia Cor­po­rate Af­fairs Head at the Africa SME Fi­nance fo­rum in Nairobi. This is what she had to share about the women value propo­si­tion that led to the birth of the Anakazi bank­ing pro­gram for women.

Stan­bic Bank has been in Zam­bia for more than 60 years and is the big­gest bank in terms of as­set size in Africa’s sec­ond largest cop­per pro­ducer. Stan­bic’ s ex­is­tence in Kenya spans 107 years which makes me feel very much at home in terms of brand pres­ence. About 10 years ago in 2008 the In­dus­trial Com­mer­cial Bank of China – ICBC ac­quired 20% in the Stan­dard Bank group. As most of you know ICBC is the big­gest bank in the world in terms of as­set size.

Zam­bia is pre­dom­i­nantly a min­ing driven econ­omy and as most of you will know that Zam­bia is the 2nd largest cop­per pro­ducer in Africa. As Stan­bic bank, what we have done is build a brand that is a trusted part­ner in driv­ing of the Zam­bian econ­omy. We have been a key player in a num­ber of eco­nomic growth sec­tors rang­ing from min­ing and en­ergy to in­fra­struc­ture and most im­por­tantly the Small to Medium En­ter­prise – SME sec­tor.

But what we have no­ticed is there is a suc­cess story in a par­tic­u­lar class of the SME sec­tor and that is women. At the open­ing of this fo­rum, we heard from the Cen­tral Bank Gov­er­nor of Kenya – Mr. Pa­trick Njoroge, how he spent quite a bit of time speak­ing about women en­trepreneurs in Kenya. He spoke about how these women are wak­ing up early in the morn­ing to en­sure that their busi­nesses are suc­cess­ful. That story cuts across South Cen­tral parts of Africa – Zam­bia in­clu­sive – where women are work­ing ex­tra hard to en­sure suc­cess of their busi­nesses.

The value propo­si­tion un­veiled

A study that was done is South Africa re­vealed that 78% of fe­male run busi­nesses that are very suc­cess­ful com­pared to the 69% of those run by men. And as Stan­bic bank have looked in­ter­nally and at our books to re­al­ize that in our per­sonal space only 26.7% of our ac­count hold­ers were women. This then pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity and niche that the bank cap­i­tal­ized on to launch a women’s mar­ket propo­si­tion. An in­ter­est­ing dis­cov­ery was that this 26.7% had on av­er­age higher bal­ances than men. These women were sav­ing much more and bet­ter than the men.

We also re­al­ized that this niche also had a much lower no of non-per­form­ing loans – NPLs com­pared to men which com­pelled us to tap into the women’s fi­nan­cial mar­ket. We then reached out to our Cen­tral Bank – The Bank of Zam­bia – which has been driv­ing fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion in Zam­bia par­tic­u­larly for women. Zam­bia has a pop­u­la­tion of 17 mil­lion and 51% of this num­ber are women but we knew that a num­ber of them are not banked, therein emerged an op­por­tu­nity for us. We worked very close with the cen­tral bank which then in­tro­duced us to key strate­gic part­ners that we have worked with over the past few years to launch our women’s bank­ing propo­si­tion to then be­come the first bank in Zam­bia to be part of the Global Bank­ing Al­liance for women. They GBA then in­tro­duced us to the In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion – IFC who have been very help­ful as they were on the ground way be­fore we even launched the women’s bank­ing propo­si­tion. The IFC guided and helped us gather in­sights that strength­ened our CVP for the women folk. We launched the women’s bank­ing propo­si­tion last year in March (2017) and though we are still tak­ing baby steps in it, we have been rec­og­nized a num­ber of times by the Cen­tral Bank and the Gov­ern­ment of Zam­bia in terms of the strides that we have taken so far to grow the women’s bank­ing propo­si­tion in Zam­bia.

In terms of our cus­tomer value propo­si­tion we fo­cus pri­mar­ily on knowl­edge which is our first pri­or­ity. We also re­al­ized that women looked for con­ve­nience and to that ef­fect we started to of­fer con­ve­nient bank­ing and ac­cess to fi­nance which has be­come the core of our cus­tomer value propo­si­tion.

Chanda Chime Ka­tongo pauses with key note speak­ers of the Africa SME Fi­nance Fo­rum in Nairobi.

IFC Women’s Bank­ing Spe­cial­ist - Gil­lette Conor (left), Stan­bic Zam­bia Head Cor­po­rate Af­fairs – Chanda Chime Ka­tongo (mid left), Bank of Pich­in­cha Vice Pres­i­dent - Cristina Gon­za­lez (right)

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