As I watched the address by Stanbic’s technical speaker at their Tuesday 14th June event at their modern training center, I could not help but feel proud of what my preferred corporate bank had endeavored into. It may be the fine red wine that was being served or the cocktail food that was delicious but what was clear was that the bank had made a statement that it would be first mover into the eCommerce space in Zambia. According to Investopedia, electronic commerce is a type of business model, or segment of a larger business model, that enables a firm or individual to conduct business over an electronic network, typically the internet. The internet in Zambia is fast becoming ubiquitous with the oligopoly of players in the internet game giving consumers a dose of the internet in different prescriptions.
What was significant about Stanbic Zambia’s announcement was that although many players in the banking space had made it possible for people to spend money using platforms such as Visa (one direction) on the internet,business entities were left out. What the bank introduces is a mechanism that allows a business (Merchant with a website) to use the PayGate interface to allow bi-directional transactions.Simply put, businesses in Zambia can now have their web presence commerce ready with what the bank has innovated for its consumers. First mover advantage indicates it is Stanbic’s game to loss should other players enter this space however, through a nexus of contracts it is clear the bank has collaborated with technology giants to provide a secure online platform that is destined to change the game of business in Zambia. Their pursuit of competitive advantage through innovation is clear.
As I continued to sip on the wine, I soon realized that Financial Insight Zambia’s desire of expanding its services for content selling could soon be realized through our website (To our competitors, you are free to explore this option too). This will allow our company to benefit from the opportunity of reaching a wider customer base that is not only local but abroad as well (we value our diaspora readers). In addition, we would be pushing our agenda of the virtual office where trust is key and content is prime. With protocols such as 3D secure and Cyber source, we are confident that our customers will be secure when they transact with us. Hence it is at that moment that I return to my developers and give them the good news that comes from Stanbic.