In developing countries like Zimbabwe, stability and a transparent regulatory framework are crucial for attracting investment and talent.
Unfortunately, Zimbabwe has faced challenges such as hyperinflation, inconsistent monetary policies, and a brain drain of skilled workers.
However, NMB Zimbabwe has embraced innovation and pragmatism, positioning itself as a leader in the digital age. Through bold and innovative steps, NMB has the potential to revolutionize the banking industry in Zimbabwe, reshape the economy, drive efficiencies, and create new markets. Examining NMB Bank’s experience provides insights into the immense power of innovation and its impact on an organization’s agility, responsiveness to changes, valuation, and scalability.
NMB Bank’s management and executive team identified opportunities for growth, sustainability, and relevance by looking beyond the dominant narratives that describe the challenges of doing business in Zimbabwe.
One of the boldest steps NMB took was building its core banking system from scratch. This three-year journey resulted in the creation of a strategic asset that drives the bank’s operations. Additionally, the project raised the knowledge base, skillset, inclination, and culture of everyone within the organization to embrace innovation and change.
While some argue that buying off-the-shelf banking platforms developed abroad is the best approach, NMB Bank challenged this notion. They recognized that context is everything and that there are better, more customized solutions available.
Currently, banks using these “best” platforms do not own them but instead pay annual license fees in hard foreign currency to use and get support for the application from vendors. When changes to the systems are required, banks have no option but to engage with their support vendor partners, often resulting in missed deadlines and additional complications.
In contrast, NMB Bank’s ownership of its banking platform has freed them from license fees, uneven partnerships with support vendors, and unbudgeted spending necessitated by regulatory changes.
By owning the solution, they can quickly respond to change requirements and create a balance sheet asset that appreciates based on the bank’s performance. This allows the core banking platform to contribute to the core capital of the overall business.
NMB Bank’s transformative journey serves as a testament to the power of innovation. Click here to read the full blog article.