Background


A combination of huge fixed costs to Banks and significant inconvenience to customers have signaled to industry analysts that, in an era of digital connectivity, the traditional Bank branch channel for delivering financial services is on its way to obsolescence. Separately but somewhat related, adoption of electronic payments in Nigeria and other developing economies has been quite slow. Mostly because the natural payment behaviors supported by cash have not been catered for by existing e-payment schemes.

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Banks have launched, with very little success, multiple initiatives to achieve considerable levels of service delivery via electronic channels as well as significant adoption of electronic payments. On the mobile channel, the in-ability to achieve a complete transition to digital has been due to rigid mobile application architectures and lack of automated processes to fulfil customer requests. These circumstances have combined to limit the scope and dynamism of services on offer thereby ensuring that the mobile channel cannot nearly rival the branch in terms of breadth of services. Also, banks have promoted a few piece-meal mobile payment offerings with limited and typically impractical functionality which unsurprisingly have not gained any traction.


PRODUCT OVERVIEW

Zone is a digital banking and social payments platform that enables Banks deliver truly branchless experiences to customers on mobile phones while incorporating social and natural habits of individual customers to drive electronic payment adoption.


VALUE PROPOSITION


  • Graphic, intuitive and user friendly tools for non-technical Bank personnel to create and modify features

  • Dynamic offline features that automatically modify as required without any explicit upgrades

  • Support for card-based enrollment of other Bank customers accompanied by automated instant account opening

  • Viral and sticky payment features that improve loyalty of individual and merchant customers of the Bank

BENEFITS


  • Growth in customer base and deposits through self-enrolled customer acquisition

  • Enhanced competitiveness due to provision of banking products that do not require inconvenient branch visits

  • Enhanced customer acquisition and retention due to innovative product differentiation

  • Ability to differentiate offerings through rapid continuous incremental innovation

  • Enhanced loyalty and patronage of existing customers as a result of more extensive and applicable payment features

  • Enhanced merchant acquisition as a result of more compelling market-oriented functionality and services

  • Growth in income from multiple transaction fees and revenue sharing income streams

  • Ultimate reduction in expenditure on branches as customers adopt the new mobile digital Banking channel

PRODUCT FEATURES

Card-based user registration not requiring a Bank account or visit to a branch

Back-office workflow and BPM for automating service fulfilment processes

Social Coupons which give users access to discounts and provide merchants with visibility

Web Payments via QR code scanning

Instant account opening during registration of non-account holders

QR code and NFC based contactless Payments in stores

Message broker integration to internal systems for real-time processing of requests

Actionable Instant Pay Messages (IPMs) that launch payment screens once viewed

Exhaustive suite of Digital Banking functions enabling the branchless experience

P2P Payments via account number, phone-book, Cashtag, and contactless

Support for Interactive payment scenarios like bill sharing, payment requests, and payment delegation