Covid-19 | May 23,2020
Zemen Bank is set to launch its new mobile banking application, which will enable individuals and corporate customers to transfer payments and check balances, in early February 2021.
The mobile banking solution and a planned series of upgrades of the Bank's digital platforms are under development by CR2, an Irish-owned banking software provider working with Zemen for the past decade in developing its card and internet banking systems. CR2, which operates in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, has previously developed the Amole mobile banking app for Dashen Bank.
Awarded last March, experts of CR2 have been working with Zemen remotely due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in order not to affect the original schedule of the project. The executives of the Bank declined to disclose the project value or the payment made to CR2.
Part of this rollout is aimed at revitalising Zemen's card and internet banking solutions, according to Amha Tadesse, vice president in charge of IT at the Bank, which has 10,559 internet banking users, a 12pc climb from the 2018/19 fiscal year.
"The project aims to create an omnipresent digital banking experience that allows customers to access services through its digital outlet," he said. "In doing so, the Bank wants to avail all of its front desk services digitally."
A customer who wants to order or cancel an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card should be able to do so through the mobile app, according to Amha.
"Smartphone use and internet connectivity have been increasing, and our client base fits into that segment," said Amha, elaborating on the growing demand for digital banking services among Zemen's customers.
The Bank's mobile banking service is currently provided through Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) technology, which Amha says is considered an outdated system that needs to be supplemented with modern mobile banking solutions.
Nebiat Tekle, an expert in digital banking with 11 years of experience, points out the reservations that Ethiopian banks have in allowing digital integration.
"Banks need to have the appetite to develop features with Application Programming Interface (API) integrability," he said.
APIs are computer programmes that allow multiple software programmes to interact with one another. Development of APIs by Ethiopian banks would allow, for example, e-commerce platforms to easily integrate mobile payment services.
Nebiat suggests that Zemen develop a multi-purpose app with an appealing and easy-to-use user interface and experience while ensuring tight security protocols.
The expert also noted that the banking industry, especially when it comes to technological products, does not collaborate with local vendors. He explains that there could be two primary reasons for this. Developing a core banking system with a plethora of modules requires massive investments that Ethiopian private investors do not want to indulge in. He suggests that the government or the banks themselves take the lead.
The second reason he mentions is that even though local developers can build affordable and high-quality digital systems and apps in terms of looks, the products lack adequate security features. This explains why almost all Ethiopian banks are using core banking systems and banking solutions developed by well-known global companies, according to the expert.
These apps' usability is another concern, considering the limited mobile and internet network penetration in the country. Nebiat confirms the potential user base of these mobile apps is low in number. Still, he suspects that usage of these digital services will spike with the implementation of new laws and regulations, such as the one that restricts people from directly depositing cash into someone else's account.
"The investment is huge, and the usability is low," he said. "Nonetheless, these apps have got to be developed; that's the only way to move forward."
Nebiat also believes that inter-banking features are much needed, as customers are otherwise put in the difficult position of opening accounts at multiple banks to conduct transactions. He suggests that Zemen Bank also consider integrating a bank-to-bank transfer option on its new platform.
Last week, Zemen, which grossed 1.1 Billion Br in profit last year, a 57pc increase from the previous year, hired PricewaterhouseCoopers East Africa (PwC) to design a five-year strategic plan and a 10-year strategic road map.
PUBLISHED ON Dec 26,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1078]
Covid-19 | May 23,2020
Radar | Jun 22,2019
Fortune News | Jun 01,2019
Radar | Jan 04,2020
Radar | Apr 12,2020
Fortune News | Oct 03,2020
Fortune News | May 16,2020
Fortune News | Oct 24,2020
Fortune News | Jul 13,2020
February 13 , 2021 . By TADESSE TSEGAYE
In Arada, I stopped over by a hotel in front of Cinema Empire. I sat alone inside wit...
January 30 , 2021 . By FASIKA TADESSE
The Council of Ministers approved a regulation that will establish the Liability &...
January 16 , 2021
It was a sunny day on September 12, 1974. A machine gun mounted on top of a tank was...
January 3 , 2021 . By ABDUREZAK LESMAN
Women wearing netela, a white cotton garment with woven coloured borders, and men in...
On November 6, 2020, the Sudanese military carried out unprovoked aggression against...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country’s most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or tw...
February 27 , 2021
That Ethio telecom would remain in the hands of the state was never a sure deal. A ra...
February 20 , 2021
The late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi was in parliament in 2010, taking questions on h...
February 13 , 2021
What most spooked buyers owning a billion dollars of Ethiopia’s Eurobonds was not a...
February 6 , 2021
The feeling of helplessness; the confusion to understand what is unfolding; and the d...
PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD) at a Gala Dinner Called for the Awarding of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize
May 6 , 2019
Sometimes two close friends get into a heated argument in front of us, and we are asked to step in and play the role of referee. This presen...
Or see contact page