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ECOCASH Holdings Zimbabwe Limited achieved a profit before tax, demonstrating that its turnaround strategy, anchored on digital transformation, has begun to bear fruit.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed firm posted a profit before tax of $911.1 million in inflation adjusted terms, for the six-month period ending August 2022 compared to a $106.2 million loss it reported in the same period last year.

“This positive development reflects the benefits of our ongoing digital transformation journey which has seen an improvement in operational efficiencies, as well as the support of all our stakeholders.

“We will continue to build on this business strategy to ensure we deliver value for our shareholders,” said the digital and Fintech group’s chairperson, Sherree Shereni, in a statement accompanying the results.

In the period under review, the diversified group recorded $45.4 billion revenues compared to $42.5 billion in 2021 in the comparable period last year.

Shereni said most of the revenue comes from the Fintech business, followed by Insurtech and lastly the Digital Platforms.

“The Fintech business, anchored by EcoCash and Steward Bank, remains the largest contributor with performance, being driven by new product innovations, and growth in the banks’ forex revenue, a result of the deliberate growth in the US$ loan book and foreign currency accounts,” she added.

She said EcoCash Holdings, whose mandate is to transform the lives of people in Zimbabwe through digital technology, launched some key innovations in the half year to August 2022 in its quest to make positive economic and social impact through financial inclusion.

Through its flagship mobile money business, the group launched EcoCash Bill Manager, a platform that aggregates service providers and allows customers to conveniently pay their bills.

“This product is transforming the payments space as we make further enhancements to cater for the various use-cases.

“We have, to date, over 200 000 customers onboarded on the platform,” said Shereni.

“We launched the EcoCash chatbot, an AI driven customer experience solution to improve efficiencies in query resolution as well as improve the overall mobile money experience.

“Through this innovation, we have started to record positive gains on our customer effort scores from the 250 000 registered customers.”

The EcoCash Holdings chairperson noted that the group would continue to harness these new technologies to enhance its value proposition, reduce customer pain points and improve financial services adoption.

“Building on the success of the first phase of our digital transformation ‘Purple Ark,’ Steward Bank continued the journey with the commencement of the second phase of the upgrade,” Shereni said.

The second phase will see increased automation and digitalization of the bank’s systems and processes as well as enhanced capacity to launch new banking innovations.

Steward Bank, which is Zimbabwe’s largest financial institution by depositors, also further enhanced its digital products offering through the revamp of the low ‘Know-Your-Customer (KYC)’ iSave accounts platform.

Following the revamp, the bank managed to onboard 234 000 customers onto iSave accounts and achieved a 10 percent reduction in mobile banking registration queries.

“We have continued to build around the core life and short-term insurance products for the Insurtech business focusing on expanding our channel network to enhance service delivery and customer experience across all our insurance products.

“The group also continues to develop the value proposition of our nascent businesses, which have exhibited potential for growth and scale, going into the future,” said Shereni. – Daily News