CRDB Bank excels with agency banking services with the support of CR2’s POS solution across Tanzania

Established in 1996, CRDB Bank Plc has flourished over the years to earn the reputation of a leading bank in Tanzania with a network of over 100 branches and 310 ATMs. CRDB Bank continuously looks for ways to innovate and cement its reputation nationally as a premier bank that holds an affinity for innovation.Primarily challenged with dispersed bank branch networks and weak infrastructure, only a reported 12% of the 40 million population in Tanzania can avail of services from banking institutions.Via agency banking, CRDB Bank was a first mover in the space and identified a unique way to overcome this widespread issue in order to reach a huge proportion of unbanked segments.

CRDB Bank has named its agency banking scheme in Swahili as ‘FahariHuduma’. In a nutshell, the agency banking business model comprises of a network of agents contracted by a bank to administer a set of selected banking services in areas where the Bank is not already present, on their behalf. Agents are compensated on a per transaction/commission basis. On the customer side, to sign up - upon verification of a manual application form, they are enrolled and issued with a Faharicard (a pre-paid VISA/MasterCard) and starter pack. Upon receiving this card, the customer is then able to set their customised PIN and can immediately deposit cash and undertake transactions.

CRDB Bank’s Chief Executive Officer – Dr. Charles Kimei reported “Our target is to grow the Bank into a financial giant in East and Central Africa. With agency banking services we are fostering strong relationships with native financial institutions in an effort to better serve our national population. We look forward to bringing Tanzania further along the road of economic prosperity via advanced banking service offerings and will eventually look to countries in our neighbouring region in order to replicate this successful model’’.

CRDB Bank has utilised POS capabilities via the CR2’s self-service banking platform to support a fully functioning agency banking network utilising GPRS and Ethernet technologies. POS is an effective way to serve customers where internet connectivity is limited and branches are not widespread. It remains a secure means to transact due to PIN protection. CRDB can manage their entire client relationship through CR2’s platform enabling great customer service and consistency of offering across their distribution network. CRDB has reported their agency banking scheme has been met with strong adoption and growth rates thus far.

Transactions available through agents include – cash withdrawal, cash deposit, cardless deposits (via Simbanking), bill payment, balance enquiry and forced PIN change. The Tanzania Postal Corporation (TPC) for example is a well-known agency partner of CRDB Bank within Tanzania. TPC has in the region of 200 branches and an estimated 25 ATMs thus providing considerable reach to a number of customers that CRDB Bank may not have otherwise have had the opportunity to serve.

CR2 are delighted with the success of this project with CRDB Bank and look forward to supporting the Bank in their next frontier of growth. CR2 have proposed streamlining the customer acquisition process further via account creation with use of CR2 BankWorld solution capabilities. Other innovative services from the Irish software provider that are being explored to complement their existing solution include; mobile to mobile payment services and an electronic voucher remittance system where clients can send money to recipients which will made immediately available at the bank’s entire ATM network. These will support growing customer enrolment numbers, and would also offer a cost effective solution for the Bank and customers alike. 

Martin Dolan, Chief Executive Officer, CR2 mentioned “We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with CRDB and support them in the realisation of their self-service vision for Tanzania”.