In the quest to be the “Go-to” bank, Barclays Bank of Botswana has achieved a major digital milestone.
It is no longer necessary for prospective customers to visit any of the bank’s branch to open an account. This is the case because Barclays has developed a solution called Remote Account Opening (RAO) to keep pace with the changing needs of the customer. The solution, which has been running since last July, allows for accounts to be opened remotely.
Head of Digital Channels at Barclays Bank of Botswana, Malebogo Sebusang explains that RAO was developed to plug the gap after the realisation that customers need services where they are, without having to visit a branch. The service removes banking away from brick and mortar structures. The bank staff members do not have to be confined to a building to service customers. RAO allows the bank staff to open and activate an account anywhere they interact with customers.
“We leave a customer with an active account,” says Sebusang.
From last week, the customer is not only left with an active account, but a debit card as well that they can instantly use anywhere – all this without having to step into a branch. It is what Keamogetse Mmereki, the Project Manager, calls “a new game changer”.
“We are the only bank that can do this in the market, and it is an incredible achievement for Barclays Bank of Botswana,” says Mmereki.
“We are the first bank to have an end to end solution. We process everything real time, and that is what differentiates us from other banks.”
The offering fits in with the bank’s paperless drive that seeks to reduce and in some cases eliminate the use of paper. In a departure from the norm, customers are not asked to present photocopies of the supporting documents.
Instead, the bank staff photographs the original documents and files them electronically.
Many of the accounts opened using the new offering were in areas where the bank has no presence.
Through the use of 3G connectivitity, the bank has taken its service to some of the country’s remote areas.
For instance, the Molepolole branch went to Takatokwane and brought service to previously unbanked people.
Mmereki says the bank has received positive feedback from the market.
“Companies lose production time when people go to the bank.
Now the bank comes to people,” she says. “For us, the journey for digitals continues, and we are very aggressive about it.” (Blackletter Corp.)