Steward Bank, the country’s largest bank by account holders, has launched a US dollar domestic remittance service which it says will ease the burden for millions of Zimbabweans who need to safely and securely move money across the country.
The new service, branded StewardRemit, will allow instantaneous or real-time US dollar money transfers for both Steward Bank account holders and non-account holders.
Steward Bank chief executive, Courage Mashavave said the launch of the local remittance service was part of the bank’s strategy to better serve its customers by widening access and enlarging its footprint across the country.
“For Steward Bank, adding the new domestic remittance service represents another step forward in fulfilling our strategy to continuously stretch our footprint and accessibility across Zimbabwe. We are serving more customers than ever, as we add more services,” he said.
He said StewardRemit offers customers convenience and is aligned with the bank’s central strategy of scaling digital financial inclusion for all Zimbabweans.
“The service is secure, fast and easy to use for sending money in foreign currency anywhere in the country, with the recipients collecting the US dollars from our bank’s branch network nationwide,” Mr Mashavave said.
He said StewardRemit will complement the mobile payments services that characterise Steward Bank’s transition to digital banking, adding that he believes the service will play a key role in helping meet the need to circulate foreign currency within the country.
Steward Bank’s chief operating officer, Munyaradzi Kavhu said StewardRemit was designed in such a way it will not require senders or receivers to have a bank account with Steward Bank. He said on collection, the recipient of the funds will be simply required to present their National Identity document and a transaction reference number.
“As intercity migration continues and industrial entrepreneurship becomes decentralised across Zimbabwe, there is a greater need for individuals to send USD cash to different cities within the country, to family and service providers alike,” Kavhu said.
“Innovation must be informed by solid problem diagnosis. As we were developing this product, our model needed to be a solution for a real problem. Those with children in college or university are probably familiar with the frantic phone calls, funds top-ups and the associated stress of how to send money swiftly in such situations.
“These are some of the customers that will benefit from this service, and will find this to be an effective way of transferring foreign currency locally,” said Kavhu.
StewardRemit will transfer amounts as low as US$5 per transaction, and up to US$500 per transaction, capped at US$2 000 per calendar month for Steward Bank customers. The transaction limit for non-Steward Bank walk-in users will be set at a minimum of US$5 per transaction, and a maximum of US$250 per transaction, capped at US$1 000 per calendar month.