Absa, the new name for Barclays Bank of Botswana, has combined both its name change and the introduction of an innovative vertical card to make a grand entry into the local banking scene. The 10th of February marked the birth of a new dispensation for the oldest bank in the country. Before the bank brought down its old Barclays Bank flag and hoisting the new Absa emblem, the MD of the bank Ms. Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane took time to introduce journalists to their new offering: the vertical card.
“We are unveiling the latest in card technology – the vertical debit and credit cards – which will allow our customers to transact more conveniently as well as offer them a wide range of benefits including earning discounts with various rewards partners for all transactions in shopping outlets across Botswana.
In staying true to our ambition of becoming a digitally led bank, our new cards will have the tap and go functionality that will be deployed at a later date, which makes them future ready.
Through this card our Affluent customers, being Premier clients and Platinum credit card holders will now enjoy access to nearly 1000 airport lounges around the world through Dragonpass.
Although the card was unveiled to media prior to the official name change date, there is going to be gradual release of the card into the market so says the MD. “The new cards will be rolled out in a phased approach throughout our Branches in order to ensure that we do not disrupt our customers’ service experience. You will remember that we have been clear in our communication that existing Barclays debit and credit cards will still work on ATM, POS and online as they always have.”
She said the bank will also be launching the revamped Absa Mobile Banking app which, apart from allowing customers to pay bills, transact and buying airtime, will also allow them to use their fingerprint or facial recognition to unlock and gain access to their accounts. Biometric access will give our customers an added layer of convenience and protection, which is critical in combatting cybercrime and other fraudulent activities.
The bank has had an aggressive approach to transformation with most of the work being carried out up till after the launch date.
“We are now nearing the conclusion of our transition journey and are proud of the milestones we have achieved thus far. To date we have rebranded 103 out of 118 ATMs and 26 of our 32 Branches countrywide, all of this in an impressive four months. I am more than confident that we will meet the deadline set for mid-2020 for the rebrand,” said the MD.
The managing director told the media that the change would enable them to leapfrog vital development and make time to attend to their core business.
“This transition will enable us to create new propositions and solutions as well as offer differentiated services and products to our customers, redefining their banking experience with us. Barclays became Absa on the 10th of February way behind other countries in the region, most including South African chapter of the bank had done so.”