Steward Bank has launched a new swiping service aptly dubbed Kwenga, a Shona word that simply means swipe, as they replace the expensive Point Of Service (POS) Barrier with small payment gadgets that can fit in your pocket, coming at very low prices for SMEs.
The new Steward Bank innovative product is a financial inclusion solution for SMEs who need to also incorporate middle to high end clients without cash, but can swipe for the products without any hustle or demand for alternative methods of payment .
Speaking during the official launch of the product in Borrowdale, Steward Bank CEO Mr Lance Mambondiyani announced a major price slash for the gadget compared to market standards.
“Normal POS machines cost an average $600, which is a price affordable for large and medium enterprises, to cater for our SMEs Kwenga will cost a minimum of $35, and this gadget can be shared across 5 different accounts”
This move allows almost every player in business to own one as they fill up a major gap which can hook up all players like taxi drivers, retailers, farmers, vendors and more importantly in transporting through the Kombis, amidst payment challenges.
What was more exciting is the challenge that Dr Mambondiyani set to the Reserve Bank, when they poked the bank to cancel bank charges for transactions less than $5, while the, as a bank have scrapped charges for transactions less than a dollar.
“We have cancelled any bank charge for any transaction that is less than a dollar through Kwenga, hence making it possible for anyone to even swipe in Kombis, without being worried about costs, in that same spirit we ask you the central bank to scrap the charges for transaction less than $5to encourage swiping. .” said Mambondiyani
The move was done towards making it possible for passengers to swipe in kombis, without any fear of recurring bank charges, which has been a major barrier towards financial inclusion in Zimbabwe.
The gadget sets a tone towards real financial inclusion as access to POS devices in Zimbabwe has been a real challenge while most SMEs can not even afford the costs of owning such a gadget.
The Gadget acts a payment gateway direct to your bank, and more interestingly, Steward Bank addresses the problem faced by most of their merchants where one can now easily monitor and move the money through a dashboard, without waiting for the system to clear off first.
Steward bank stated that 10 000 of such devices have already been deployed into the system, and Zimbabwe is yet to react to the innovation. This could be the dawn of a new era towards financial inclusion in Zimbabwe.
Econet Chief Executive Officer Mr Douglas Mboweni added that this is amongst their response to their visionary Mr Masiyiwa, to continuously create products that impact the live hoods of every Zimbabwean.