Recently, New Finance (NFB) Bank merged with Getbucks Malawi to form MyBucks Banking Corporation. WILLIAM KUMWEMBE caught up with MyBucks Banking Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Zandile Shaba, for an insight into business prospects.
Why did you abandon the New Finance Bank brand?
Well, NFB was an entity which comprised two major shareholders, that is Finsbury Investments Limited and Frankfurt listed MyBucks South Africa, each of which had 50 percent ownership. MyBucks completed its 100 percent acquisition of New Finance Bank in January 2019, up from its initial 50 percent holding and this led to the departure from the NFB brand and the beginning of endless beginnings with MyBucks Banking Corporation.
What innovations is the change bringing to the banking sector?
There will be more tailored products and services that will be availed to our customers according to their various needs. A big part of MyBucks Group’s strategy is consolidating its operations and streamlining services to enable fast, always-on technology-driven financial services to clients. We are looking at bringing in more digitalised services and products on board as the world is going digital. So customers should be on the lookout for an exciting journey with endless beginnings.
Will rebranding not affect the bank’s growth prospects and profitability trail?
MyBucks Banking Corporation has been growing and, as you have rightly put it, we posted the first ever profit last year, a milestone worth celebrating. Over the last four years, we have offered diverse products and services along with a great customer experience which has attributed to our growth. Our prospective and existing customers already look at our rebranding as part of growth in our offering, just as we see it.
We are now positioned to have a marked impact on the Malawian banking landscape, bringing the technology that has underpinned MyBucks’ growth in other countries and to modernise the sector and reach a young population that wishes to bank easily and is hungry for finance opportunities. Our prospective and existing customers should expect a tremendously robust digital banking offering which will see a tremendous improvement in the customer experience offered by the bank.
What are the key business tenets for the bank now?
Empowerment is the key personality of our new brand. Empowering people and their communities through financial services that enhance economic freedom is what we will do best through our products offering of banking, Insurance and Microfinancing.
Would customers embrace the brand?
We have a lot of messages flying out across print, mass, electronic, and social media just to bring about brand awareness to all customers. We also held a press briefing chaired by the MyBucks Board chairman two weeks ago along with some members of the board assuring the public that this is a brand that is here to stay. We will continue to offer products that are tailored to the needs of our customers here in Malawi and we intend to increase the offering in our products which I’m sure most will be embraced by customers. We have already started to rebrand our branches including our alternate channels in rural and urban areas, and will do more.
Should we say this is an evolution or revolution?
This is certainly an evolution. We are leaving our past behind. With a merger of NFB and GetBucks, we have become bigger, becoming MyBucks Banking Corporation. This is a brand that is recognisable around many parts of world and introducing it in the country is an incredible opportunity. There will be a stronger delivery of our products and services coming from the team synergies of the two united entities and with this, only the sky will be our limit.
How do you assure your employees and customers that this move is not a threat in any way?
The banking sector responds to the business environment of a particular period which pushes banks to re-strategize differently. Our focus right now remains on growth and how we can manoeuvre through the changing environment. We are the fastest growing bank in Malawi and we will continue to need staff to manage that growth.
What are some of the challenges encountered in the process?
Well, the name MyBucks was already known to everyone from NFB and GetBucks because MyBucks was a one of the shareholders. When the shareholding changed and brought the new development there was not much alarm. All we have focused on is to communicate this to our customers and the public and that is our biggest focus right now.