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Simplifying electronic payment systems – the Zenith approach

Simplifying electronic payment systems – the Zenith approach

Technology is changing the way we bank. Processes that used to be cumbersome have now been simplified and made more easier, convenient, faster and safer – enhancing the overall customer experience.

Over the past decade, mobile technology has played a key role in how banks provide banking services to their customers. Bank’s such as Zenith Bank have leveraged on the opportunity technology has provided and ensured utmost convenience of the Bank’s products and services.

Zenith Bank (Ghana) Limited has year on year, consistently sustained its position of being a reputable financial institution and the Bank of choice for the Ghanaian banking populace. The Zenith brand has a strong internal culture, built from the strength of its people, commitment to service excellence, a solid technological backbone and most importantly the unflinching confidence that its cherished customers continue to repose in the Bank. The Bank’s philosophy has long been built on delivering excellent service to its customers – a strategy the bank considers critical to the success of its business operations.

Zenith Bank, having met the Bank of Ghana’s new minimum stated capital 10 months ahead of the December 31, 2018, deadline, is keen on using innovation to drive financial inclusion.

The Bank, in keeping with its reputation of taking banking to the doorsteps of customers to enable customers conduct business quicker and easier, has recently upgraded its Internet Banking platform to give more functionality and make it more robust.

The recent upgrade introduced a new dashboard, which allows customers, armed with their access code and password, to view at a glance, a summary of three of all the accounts they have with the Bank. The dashboard also gives users an option to view the total number of accounts that they have with the Bank and further provides a graphical illustration of recent transactions and how it impacts on the user’s account.

Other essential self-services that guarantee ease of banking with Zenith Bank Internet Banking include card requests, cheque book requests, cash complaint reports, PIN regeneration, card re-dispatch, card reactivation, card limit amendment, travel notification submission as well as transfer of funds to mobile money wallets.

The Bank, also recently added to its repertoire of innovations, the Zenith Scan to Pay service, a less cumbersome means for customers to pay for goods and services where the service is available. In the same vein, it affords merchants (stores, restaurants and other retail locations) the opportunity to receive payments from customers.

Zenith Scan to Pay is a fast, simple and secure way by which customers make payments at a merchant’s outlet (store/online) by simply scanning a QR code using a smart phone. Payments can be made and received anytime and anywhere there is a Visa or MasterCard enabled QR code displayed at a merchant’s outlet (store/online). To make payments via Zenith Scan to Pay, customers must first download the Zenith Scan to Pay app from Google Play Store or the App Store and follow the prompt to register. To receive payments, merchants would need to download the app and register as a merchant.

It is worth noting that Zenith Bank was amongst the first in the Ghanaian banking industry to launch an app-based mobile banking service (Z-Mobile) which is available on Play Store on android or App Store on Apple devices).

The Bank has since enhanced information security for users of the app, thus requiring users to sign up for Zenith’s Internet Banking service and obtain login details which can be used to activate the Zenith Mobile app.

Some of the  notable features of the Z-Mobile app include allowing customers to check balances on their accounts, view transaction history, top up investments (within Zenith and other investment houses like Databank), set up beneficiaries, effect instant intrabank (Zenith-to-Zenith) / interbank (Zenith-to-other banks) transfers via the GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP) service as well as pay bills.

Using innovation to drive the financial inclusion agenda

Half of the 20 percent of Ghanaian adults that have mobile money accounts do no have bank accounts, proving that mobile money is not just an enabler of cheaper and more convenient financial services for those who already have access, but it is also spreading the net to reach those who were previously financially excluded.

Despite the introduction of mobile money by the telecommunication companies in the country, banks continue to play a key role in the financial inclusion agenda. Zenith Bank is tapping the opportunities and possibilities that mobile money presents to drive this financial inclusion agenda. This is being done, for instance, through the bank’s Mobile Money Bank2Wallet Service.

The service enables customers to link their mobile money wallets (MTN/AirtelTigo) to their bank accounts to transfer money between their accounts and wallets, and to make payments for goods and services remotely at any time of the day.

The Bank, as a major financial services provider in the country for over a decade, has an approach to financial inclusion that is built on a deep appreciation of the reasons for, and costs of financial exclusion and how banks can tailor their business models to promote inclusiveness.

While Zenith Bank has been undertaking strategic physical branch expansion across the country, its frontline role in digitization to mitigate the cost and infrastructure obstacles to the spread of banking is contributing to financial inclusion.

Furthermore, Zenith Bank recognizes that the kinds of financial products and services offered by providers, as well as their design, availability and how they are marketed, are important determinants of uptake by bankable but unbanked constituencies. The bank has thus been prioritizing product and service innovation to suit the needs of varied market segments, including those frequently underserved.

Zenith Bank believes that the momentum that digital finance has gained in Ghana will remain strong for years to come, driven by government and regulatory initiatives, innovation by service providers, increasing financial literacy, and an improving economy. The bank will stand ready to take advantage of both the opportunities and challenges this evolution will certainly present  by continuously investing in its people and the infrastructure, innovating its products and services, exploring strategic partnerships and putting the customer at the heart of all the Bank’s operations.

In an increasingly digitized world, where data protection is of utmost importance to every customer and builds customer confidence in a business, Zenith Bank has taken the initiative in obtaining the International Organization for Standardization (ISO/IEC 27001:2013), as well as the  Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) certifications.

This step was taken to improve the Bank’s information security posture and in turn minimize its exposure to risks by implementing necessary controls in the Bank’s procedures, processes and systems. Additionally, this was done to protect the privacy of the Bank’s customer information by safeguarding confidentiality, integrity and availability.

As The Banker Magazine’s “Bank of the Year Ghana 2018”, (an award it has won four (4) times) and a three time winner of the award of “The Bank That Best Promotes Cashless Transactions”,  Zenith Bank remains committed to driving innovativeness in the delivery of its products and services and creating value for its customers and shareholders.

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