Nelson Gahadza Senior Business Reporter
NMB Holdings, through its banking unit NMB Bank, says it will accelerate the digitisation strategy to provide seamless digital financial solutions to its customers.
Violet Mutandwa, the group’s secretary, in a trading update for the first quarter ended March 31 2022, said in the period the group made three enhancements to its transacting channels.
“The group’s banking subsidiary has, in the first quarter, focused its efforts on enhancing customer experience and ensuring a seamless and friction-free customer journey,” she said.
Ms Mutandwa said during the quarter, the bank implemented the USSD Virtual Assistant on the *241# platform to enable customers to log their queries, which provides an additional touchpoint, through which customers can access assistance on their queries.
She said digital card issuance service was also accessible via the *241# platform. “The solution will ensure that customers self-initiate the application of debit cards and set their preferred PIN on the USSD platform without completing any forms,” said Ms Mutandwa.
She noted that the third enhancement was in line with ongoing efforts to onboard more partners to the NMBConnect platform and additional billers were added to the platform to ensure ease of payment for our customers.
In terms of the trading environment, Ms Mutandwa said the first quarter was negatively impacted by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine which began in February 2022 resulting in global trade disruptions and inflation given that these two countries account for 25 percent of global trade.
She said on the domestic front, month-on-month (MoM) inflation increased from 1,6 percent in 2021 to 7 percent by March 2022 while year-on-year (Y.o.Y) closed at 72 percent. The local currency depreciated by 13 percent during the first quarter.
During the quarter under review, group’s operating profit before impairment charges and movements on net monetary position increased to $921 635 million from $729 596 million during the same quarter in 2021.
The group’s total assets increased to $36 billion compared to $25 billion in the first quarter of 2021 comparable.
Loans, advances and other assets grew 37,43 percent to $16 billion compared to $11 billion in the same period while deposits and other liabilities grew to $24 billion from $15 billion in 2021.
Meanwhile, the group noted that the bank is well capitalised and the directors will ensure that the capital levels remain adequate.
In its 2021 financials, the group indicated that it will continue to fund and support the productive sectors of the economy as part of its drive to support the growth of the Zimbabwean economy.
The group’s operating income increased from $3,4 billion to $6,98 billion for the year ended 31 December 2021, largely driven by growth in transaction volumes and values.