This is an interesting move by the bank as it is following the trend set by NMB and Stanbic Bank who all have similar services but for different reasons.
NMB launched its transaction charge-free Tap Card back in 2019. The card was launched as a prepaid card where the user can top it up using their EcoCash, ZIPIT or by making a direct deposit. NMB’s tap card was modelled to make small frequent purchases a lot easier and has been used for parking fees and more recently used to ease congestion at toll-gates in a partnership with ZINARA.
NMB (along with CBZ) in a partnership with the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) also launched a tap card for public transport service ZUPCO. The tap card was intended to ease the need for change and the scarcity of small denominations for consumers. The card was also intended to work in shops at some time in the future.
Stanbic Bank’s POS and contactless card solutions bear more similarities to what FBC Bank has launched. The Stanbic contactless route was intended to aid public health measures as well as the company’s drive to digital. We were initially sceptical of Stanbic’s route because the POS Machines would be pretty pricy and might have deterred retailers from wanting to go for them.
FBC launching Mastercard Tap ‘n’ Go cards and POS machines signals that this might soon become commonplace in the banking sector. Stanbic’s example, I think, must have been one of the key drivers for FBC to see the viability of this platform.
We also hope that Stanbic’s other revolutionary move of zero-rating banking platforms will also catch on among the rest of the banks in Zimbabwe.
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