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Zambia National Commercial Bank: banking in the digital world


Zambia

Bank

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National Commercial


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embracing technology in a digitally enabled world WRIT TEN BY

DA LE BENTON PRODUCED BY

JUS TIN BR AND

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Through a digital transformation strategy, Zambia Commercial National Bank continues to serve the technologically enabled banking customer

T

he global banking

make IT far more central to the

industry is changing.

strategic direction of the bank,”

As technology

says Frank Banda, Head of IT.

continues to redefine the very

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“As the industry becomes

nature of the financial space,

increasingly dictated by

with more and more customers

technology, there has to be

moving away from the physical

a greater code of alignment

banking of the past, companies

between IT and the business, so

and financial institutions must

that it moves away from being

adapt and innovate with this

just a support function and becomes more

changing landscape in order to

of a partner to the business.”

continue to be successful.

Banda, having successfully worked in

In this ever-evolving digital

Information and Technology in the Zambian

world, the responsibility of the

banking sector for a number of years, has

IT function has never been

seen first-hand the transformative nature of

more crucial. This is most

the industry and recognises that the key

certainly the case for Zambia

driving force behind any IT transformation in

National Commercial Bank

banking will always be the customer.

(Zanaco), as the company

The modern-day customer is more

looks to completely reimagine

technologically empowered than ever before

its IT and technology infra-

and expects the same level of service, access

structure in order to better

and functionality from all of the companies

serve the modern banking

and business they engage with.

customer. “It’s part of my strategy here to

“They are asking for improved ways of banking, new products and new levels of


“As the industry becomes increasingly dictated by technology, there has to be a greater code of alignment between IT and the business, so that it moves away from being just a support function and becomes more of a partner to the business.” — Frank Banda, Head of IT

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efficiency,” says Banda. “And with that we have to rethink how we operate. What was a successful model a few years back has become almost entirely obsolete, and so the bank set it upon itself to become more innovative, more responsive and agile to meet these growing demands.” Zanaco is currently undergoing a significant digital transformation, targeting a full implementation of a new digital bank by 2020. Traditionally, technology has always 08

been implemented across the bank as a means of increasing the

“It’s about working closely with all of our partners to help take our solutions development to the next level so that those solutions continue to be ones that customers demand and enjoy.” — Frank Banda, Head of IT

profitability as opposed to working in unison with the growth journey of the wider organisation. When attempting to create a far more aligned organisation there can be challenges. Banda readily admits that, with an extensive career in the technology space, the key challenge for him and the company is one of communication. “Integrating technology to the business where people may not be as well versed as to the benefits and the functionalities of technology, you have to tailor the way in which you


communicate the core message,” he says. “And that’s a continuous challenge. To try to really understand the direction of the business and to develop solutions that can help move people, and the business, forward.” In any technology transformation, the role of the employee and the people across the entire organisation cannot be understated. After all, the right technology to drive a business forward needs to have the right person behind it. This is something that Banda recognises and invests a great amount of time in fostering, personally retraining himself on a regular basis in order to be able to be the right man in charge. Part of Banda’s core mission is to align not only the technology, but the people and the teams to a single business led vision. He notes that a company needs its people to grow with it in order to continue to deliver solutions and services that the ever-changing customer is demanding. To that end, Banda has worked to create what he feels is an environment that provides the right level of challenges for the team to create a culture of innovation. Ultimately, this is dictated by the customer. “The customer of today wants efficiency w w w. z a n a c o . c o . z m

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and reliability,” says Banda. “They want to be able to perform a

look specifically at the in-house

transaction in a quick and efficient

development of solutions for

manner. No queuing, no waiting.

customers but we also work with

That for me is a market that invites

vendors to help us develop new

challenge from a banking perspec-

solutions for the business.”

tive, and so we must rise to that challenge.” Zanaco’s transformation is to

“It’s about working closely with all of our partners to help take our solutions development to the next

serve a wider business strategy, to

level so that those solutions

be the bank of choice in Zambia.

continue to be ones that customers

The company is already a leader in

demand and enjoy.”

the market, but Banda knows that it 10

“We partner with some vendors to

With technology and the

has to innovate in order to continue

digitisation of business, organisa-

to be a leader.

tions such as Zanaco cannot reach

This will be achieved through the

an “end point” and then stop.

implementation and delivery of

Technology will continue to evolve

cutting edge solutions for custom-

and so too must Zanaco, so the

ers, including the launch of a mobile

goals set for 2020 will not be the

banking application earlier this year

same goals for 2021 and beyond.

as well as a number of in house

The journey was an initial

solutions to become far more agile

three-year plan and as we approach

and responsive to the market.

the midway point of 2018, one and

A key component of this is the

a half years in, Banda looks at this

bank’s vendor management strategy.

year as a year of laying down the key

“We align ourselves with a number

foundations for the future growth of

of vendors at different levels and

the business.

through our transformation, both

“We’re sitting in a great space right

internally and on an external basis,”

now. A lot of our energy in the first

says Banda.

year was focused on revamping


BIO

Frank Banda — Head of IT Frank Banda is currently the Head of Information Technology for ZANACO, the biggest bank in Zambia in terms of customer base and branch network, he has over 11 years’ work experience in IT, his experience spans across all the different domains of technology, he has been with ZANACO for 7 years where he has played pivotal role in ensuring that the bank provides quality service to its large client base, before joining ZANACO, Frank worked for Ecobank Zambia where he led the implementation of core IT services and infrastructure for the bank. He is very passionate about technology and digital transformation, especially the role that technology plays in making a difference to people’s lives. He is currently leading the digital transformation journey from technology support standpoint for ZANACO. Frank Holds a Bachelors in Science degree in Computer Networks, MSc in Information Security & Computer Forensics both from University of East London. He has certifications in IT governance, ITIL and Project Management.

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our in-house applications and systems and honing our skills as a team,” he says. “This year we have brought on board our mobile app and are now revamping our internet banking platform for our Corporate and Retail clients, both of which are really setting us up nicely to hit those initial 2020 goals.” Eyes inevitably will turn to beyond 2020 and Banda confirms as much, recognising the need to continue to prepare for whatever the 12

future holds for the banking industry in Zambia. “The future for us will be defined by keeping our ears close to the ground in order to constantly evolve with the evolving market trends,” he says. “While our we will continue to innovate and continue to push our solutions to remain at the forefront of technology, ultimately it’s about making our customer happy. “We want to be the bank of choice in Zambia, consistently, for many years to come.”

“While we will continue to innovate and continue to push our solutions to remain at the forefront of technology, ultimately it’s about making our customer happy.” — Frank Banda, Head of IT


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Zambia National Commercial Bank Plc , Head Office, Cairo Road  Lusaka, Zambia P.O Box 33611  www.zanaco.co.zm

Zambia National Commercial Bank brochure - 2018  
Zambia National Commercial Bank brochure - 2018