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FNBB revamp branches

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First National Bank Botswana (FNBB), arguably the leading lender in the country is in the process of revamping its old branches and open new branches, its most senior executive has disclosed.

This infrastructure investment forms part of its strategy to standardise the look and feel of all its branches up to the year 2020. Speaking at the bank’s results presentation last Friday, FNBB Chief Executive Officer, Steven Bogatsu revealed that, “We are in the process of revamping six branches and in addition to that we will be opening two new branches under this financial year and the locations will be announced in due course.”

Some branches have already been refurbished, the Kanye branch being one of them. FNBB, which employées over 1200 people,  services a large number of customers across the country with over 20 branches. From the bank’s 150 network of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), 36 are automated real-time cash deposit (ADT) machines and the aim is to roll out 50 by end of the year, targeting to have three of these ADTs in each branch.

Slimline mini ATMs are set to also increase from the current 34 to 70, facilitating greater access and a wider geographical footprint for these channels. ‘All branches are targeted to have a minimum of three self-service devices including ADTs and ATMs and most villages will have at least one slimline ATM. We have also made provision for non-FNB card holders to use their ATM cards on FNB slimline ATMs,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Bogatsu revealed that the bank is not yet where it wants to be in terms of service. “A customer survey was conducted and it was established that the FNBB staff are not very welcoming. Our strategy is therefore based on customer centricityservice excellence, sales and solutions, and people. We will strive to improve on these perceptions and do what is right according to our customers,” he said.

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BSE complies with reporting guidelines

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Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) has become the 5th bourse in Africa to comply and publish Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting guidelines.

The development comes a year after BSEL became a partner exchange of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) Initiative.“The BSE made a commitment to publish guidance on ESG Reporting. This commitment has been fulfilled.“

We are the 42nd among the 81 SSE Partner Exchanges globally and the 5th in Africa to do this,” said Kgotla Segwe, Market Development Specialist at Botswana Stock Exchange Limited.
Other stock exchanges that have complied with the SSE initiative on the continent are from South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt.

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Mobile operators look to digital inclusion

Keikantse Lesemela

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Mascom MD Jose Couciero.

Mascom Chief Executive, Jose Couciero said they are looking into digital inclusion as the potential source of revenue growth because mobile subscription is no longer a major driver.

Botswana has one of the highest records of mobile penetration in Africa at 176 percent, Internet users’ stand at 21.4 percent while the fixed line telephony services stand at 8.2 percent. “As the Botswana mobile market evolves, we observe that mobile subscriber growth alone is no longer a major driver for revenue growth. Rather, the potential for the market is in digital inclusion through access to mobile and fixed broadband,” Couciero.

He said they have invested significantly in deploying their own transmission backbone and Metropolitan fibre rings to prepare their business to enter the residential markets with bundle offers of Internet, voice and content. “I am excited to confirm that we now offer fixed broadband services using both fibre and 4.5G wireless technology. These technologies offer high speed internet for TV live streaming and online games without interruptions,” he said.

Meanwhile, the government owned Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) observed the increased usage of social media platforms which has negatively affected the traditional voice call services resulting in decreased turnover for the company. Recently, BTCL Managing Director, Anthony Masunga also highlighted that competition in the telecommunications sector continued to intensify with the entry of new internet service providers leading to a downward pressure on prices.

On the other hand, another competitor, Orange Botswana is currently constructing a data centre which will enable the company to offer telecommunication and internet services without interruptions. The Orange Data Centre will cover 81% of the population with the 2G technology, 62% of the population with 3G technology and 45% of the population with 4G technology, offering the greater levels of security, flexibility and accessibility to data and information around the world.

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