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Ecobank and Nedbank alliance scoop innovation award

The Ecobank and Nedbank Groups have jointly been awarded Most Innovative Bank of the Year at the 2010 African Banker Awards ceremony held in Washington DC.

The Ecobank Nedbank Alliance is an initiative to provide clients with the convenience, accessibility and many benefits of a seamless ‘one bank’ experience across the 35 African countries making up the alliance, the largest geographical footprint on the continent.

Graham Dempster, Chief Operating Officer of Nedbank Group, says that the alliance is an integral part of the bank’s vision to build Africa’s most admired bank.

The alliance office based in Johannesburg comprises a dedicated banking solutions unit that has the specialist expertise to assist alliance clients through tailored client-needs driven solutions. The global coverage model means that clients enjoy a single point of contact for all their transactional and lending requirements.

Albert Essien, Executive Director of Ecobank Corporate Bank, commented that the Pan-African strategy of Ecobank has been enhanced by the alliance activities that have led to this award.

Smit Crouse, Head of the alliance, attributed the award to the banking executives of both banks having, through innovation, created real value for clients doing business across Africa.

Innovations that have led to this award include:

1 LocalKnowledgeAfrica, through its five knowledge centres across Africa, providing a unique advisory service to corporate clients for expanding and growing their business across the African continent.

2 Enabling Ecobank regional cardholders to withdraw funds from their Ecobank accounts via 1 860 Nedbank ATMs across South Africa. This groundbreaking initiative increases ATM accessibility for a million Ecobank regional cardholders and provides a safer and cheaper alternative to traditional currency conversion.

3 Specific integration of banking and technology platforms providing clients with the ability to have a single view of bank balances and seamless management of accounts held with both banks.

4 Development of an account opening system, simplifying and streamlining the process of opening accounts for clients across the combined footprint of 35 countries.

5 Implementing an alliance website with client communication functions aimed at supporting clients.

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