Customer Success: Zemen Bank

  • CUSTOMER ACQUISITION new corporate ideas
  • FIRST BANK to launch this service in Ethiopia
  • NEW REVENUE generated from the prepaid card fees

Facts & Figures

  • Head office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • USD $180.15m assets
  • 4,000 internet banking users monthly
  • 1,000 ATM users daily

The Challenge

Zemen Bank is one of the most innovative banks in Ethiopia providing high quality services to high net worth individuals and corporate customers. While already using BankWorld to power their ATM channel and having recently selected BankWorld Internet, Zemen Bank wanted to find a way to gain large corporate and governments.

With employees in Ethiopia commonly banking with different banks or in some cases, not holding a bank account at all, one of the challenges companies face is the ability to disperse salaries quickly and efficiently. With a self-service mindset, it was natural for Zemen Bank to seek to facilitate their corporate customers in disbursing salaries to employees through electronic channels.

Another challenge that Zemen Bank faced was enabling its high net worth retail customers to give family members convenient access to cash whenever they needed. Zemen Bank saw an opportunity to introduce prepaid cards such as fuel and gift cards to the Ethiopian market which could be used by anybody regardless of whether or not they held a bank account.

The Solution

To assist Zemen Bank, CR2 proposed a set of prepaid card solutions.

Salary Cards – an ideal payroll solution for companies who would like to dispense cash and cheque salary payments. Employees are paid into a new account, receiving a prepaid card through which they have full access to the bank’s services. The introduction of salary cards enables Zemen Bank’s corporate customers to streamline their payment process while also providing a new source of employed account holders for the bank to target with offers.

Consumer Reloadable Cards – to assist Zemen Banks high net worth customers to provide beneficiaries such as family members with convenient access to cash, CR2 proposed the Consumer Reloadable Card. Prepaid card accounts are set up for these beneficiaries and can be conveniently topped up at the branch or via Zemen Bank POS terminals. These secure cards can also be used in any Zemen Bank or Dashen Bank ATMs. Using Consumer Reloadable Cards allows Zemen Bank to both service and generate revenue from new customer segments.

The Result

Zemen Bank became the first bank in Ethiopia to roll out prepaid card services providing Salary Cards and Consumer Reloadable Cards to its customer base.

Zemen Bank’s corporate customers can now offer the disbursement of salaries using these cards and employees are now able to withdraw their salary conveniently at an extensive ATM network instead of queuing at the bank’s branch. These employees automatically become new customers of Zemen Bank, thus allowing the bank to widely expand its customer base without compromising its dedication to corporate and high end customers.

Following Zemen’s success in the rollout of CR2’s ATM, Internet and Corporate Banking solutions, Zemen has also selected CR2’s mobile banking solution which further augments their digital offering in the market. This digital strategy is now even more relevant with a spike in customers across all sectors and demographics using digital channels due to the CoVid-19 pandemic.

With CR2’s BankWorld Mobile platform, Zemen Bank will be able to leverage an efficient and seamless customer onboarding process to increase customer acquisition and accelerate adoption rates. Offering customers the ability to manage their payments within their banking app ensures that Zemen Bank is providing a service that is both useful and relevant for their banking customers today. With the ability to send and receive money in seconds with P2P payments, providing personal financial management capabilities, as well as business banking and card control, the Bank is enabling a fast and simple mobile banking solution for their customers without the need to visit a branch.

These are exciting times for the banking sector in Ethiopia and the collaboration between Zemen Bank and CR2 will allow the Bank to support its market leadership position in the provision of financial digital services.