Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Deputy Governor, Dr Charity Dhliwayo says the establishment of the Old Mutual Group of Zimbabwe’s Green Zone initiative is expected to result in the reduction of the cost in providing financial services to bank customers in the country.
Speaking in Bulawayo recently Dr Dhliwayo said the Green Zone initiative is consistent with the RBZ’s call on financial institutions to re-examine their business models, interrogate their cost structures to improve efficiency.
She said the Green Zone innovation is of a great value, and its adoption will translate to lower charges to customers and promote financial inclusion through a geographic outreach that it brings.
“It is commendable that Old Mutual Group is investing in innovative products, proper delivery channels and other products which underpin the RBZ’s financial inclusion strategy and I am reliably informed that the organisation’s ultimate objective is to establish more of such centers in the country,” said Dr Dhliwayo.
She said it is also gratifying to note that Old Mutual Group has set up a financial inclusion department which is also aimed at also servicing the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and the informal sector, which she said are playing a major role in driving the economy of Zimbabwe.
“The 2012 Fin-Scope 7 revealed that only 14 percent of SMEs were banks yet the Zimbabwean economy is now largely driven by SMEs, hence it is important to note that the financial inclusion department is set to provide tailor made products and services to the SMEs and the informal sector,” said Dr Dhliwayo.
She said it is also impressing how Old Mutual has initiated a financial education programme, ‘On The Money’, which is aimed at breaking down financial matters through lessons learnt from Africa’s Big Five.
“The animals’ behaviors have been distilled to teach how best to manage personal and family finances, however it is impressing that Old Mutual is making efforts to provide financial literacy and building good savings habits at a personal and family level,” she said.