By Wellington Zimbowa
CBZ Bank has moved to alleviate the plight of Zimbabweans seeking to receive diaspora remittances through opening its first own Money Transfer Centre bringing convenience to its own customers, but to all prospective customers in the country.
The move according to managing director, Mr Peter Zimunya, is in line with the financial institution’s quest to provide cut – edge financial solutions, targeting a global outreach, thus utilizing the thriving diaspora market.
The success story in CBZ’s strategic partnerships with international transfer agencies such as World Remit, Western Union, MoneyGram, Mukuru, HelloPaisa, and Xpresslink, led to the establishment of the dedicated CBZ international money remittance service.
Divisional director retail banking Mr Dedrey Mutimutema said the service’s launch in the capital, Harare, will foster CBZ’s drive to offer fast and reliable service to its customers, and deal with the logistical challenges being currently experienced in this market segment.
“We looked at the foreign remittances space and realised the amount of time people are spending in queues to collect their funds and a decision was made to intervene by coming up with an exclusive centre to facilitate ease of collection of funds. The service will however still be available at all CBZ Bank branches to increase convenience”, he said.
He said CBZ would offer world-class service, unlike other players in this market, a benchmark market penetration strategy.
“This is to ensure that our customers will enjoy dedicated remittance business and refer friends and family to use the same facility. The Bank will be rolling out similar initiatives in other major urban centres around the country”, he added.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe estimates that US$1 billion is remitted to Zimbabwe via unconventional channels every year.
2017 saw diaspora remittances to Zimbabwe amounting to US$699 million, down from US$799 recorded in 2016.
The International Monetary Fund notes the difference between international remittances and diaspora remittances.
The latter, it (IMF) says, are household incomes from foreign counties with the sender being a temporary or permanent resident from that country.
On the other hand, the former includes humanitarian assistance, outside grants from the donor and developmental grants.
By Wellington Zimbowa