Stanbic Bank Champion Digital Transformation and Financial Inclusion for All with Revolutionary “Unayo”
By Samuel Minta*
The power of the internet, combined with the use of mobile phones and tablets has completely changed the way people live, work, and conduct business. The challenge of physical distance disappears in a digital world. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has become a powerful force for the socio-economic good of societies.
Stanbic Bank Botswana has leveraged 4IR to create a services platform or digital marketplace for commerce and payments. This marketplace is christened “Unayo”, meaning “you have it”. The power of Unayo is transformational for bringing the purpose of the bank to live in many ways.
Banks have traditionally focused on a small segment of the population who could demonstrate proof of income, known as the bankable population, constituting just about 20% (0.5 million) of the population in Botswana. The reality is that people become financially active from the age of 16 years, constituting about 70% (1.7 million) of the population in the country. Herein is the challenge for financial inclusion as a tool for driving economic diversification and growth.
Stanbic Bank is pleased to leverage Unayo to find new ways to make dreams possible around the following:
- Availing a digital marketplace for communities and businesses, including youth-owned businesses across the country. This is a key “access to market” intervention under the “Acceler8 4XFour” model
- Deepening of informal businesses, providing them the opportunity to receive and send payments to mobile recipients on all telco networks as well as banks
- A lifestyle platform with a superior digital client experience than in-branch experience and brings Stanbic Bank to every corner of the country
- Support to the local fintech community as Unayo will avail APIs for local firms to develop digital solutions for the Unayo platform. Consumers want functionality and seamless experiences, and this is precisely what the Bank strives to deliver through Unayo, going well beyond a simple payment capability.
- Ultimately delivering stronger economic diversification and prosperity for the country
This is what Unayo strives to do. We have leveraged technology, data and collaboration in our journey towards a platform-driven and inclusive business for and with our customers.
Unayo works to empower businesses or individuals to transact seamlessly and in the most wholly inclusive, safe and convenient manner, driving economic empowerment and diversification through creation of the right kind of ecosystems. Unayo is inclusive and for everyone via Mobile App and shortcode *200# – individuals, traders, general dealers, social clubs, small and medium business, corporates, suppliers and customers – anyone and everyone. Furthermore, anyone can sign-up as a merchant and earn commission for processing cash-in and cash-out transactions. Merchants can also use Unayo to receive payments on the spot from their clients. In doing so, we are working to support our youth entrepreneurship and employability agenda further.
It is all about that connected community and providing a platform for value to flow better, faster and safer. By offering an easy, low-cost way to send and receive money, as well as enabling market access to small businesses, Unayo will also help more citizens and foreign nationals in every corner of the country become actively involved in the national economy, thus bringing ultimate convenience and inclusion.
We are addressing the unsolved needs of communities through digital innovation and accessibility and doing so in line with the Vision of Botswana, the Bank of tomorrow, and the consumer of the future.
*This editorial was developed by Stanbic Bank Botswana Chief Executive, Samuel Minta