Dar es Salaam — Barclays Bank Tanzania, has introduced Premier Banking services which would enable its customers to access loans up to Tsh70m (about $44,473) with a flexible and extended period of up to 72 months.
Besides that, the bank said the new product would enable the bank's customers to access their accounts using smart phones and iPods, thanks to technological advancement that has helped to improve customer services.
Barclays' Head of Affluent Segment Consumer Banking, Ms Neema Rwehumbiza told East African Business Week during the product launch in Dar es Salaam last week that; "Premier Banking customers can apply for unsecure loans of up to Tsh70m (about $44,473) payable in six years."
Ms Rwehumbiza said the initiative is an elite banking proposition for affluent individuals, which offers a highly personalized approach to banking....simply is a free banking product.
She added customers who meet the liability eligibility requirement will enjoy Premier services.
Unveiling the Premier Banking, Barclays Consumer Banking Director East and West Africa Mr Zahid Mustafa said to qualify for the new product; one has to have a minimum deposit of 30,000 UK pounds (about Tsh75m).
"Customer can only access his account after entering a pin code sent to his mobile-phone. This is high security option in the market and the first in Tanzania," Mustafa told East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam during the launch.
Mustafa said that the bank is not counting the outcome basing on the number of customers managed to join the initiative rather on basis of relationship balance between the bank and its clients.
"Each (premier banking) customer will be allocated a relationship manager to manage their financial requirements on top of using banking facilities to conduct their business," he said.
He added, to access one account, the bank has introduced one-time password (OTP), a system that improves security.
The initiative offers a range of products including free account maintenance fee, SMS alerts, monthly e-statement, international debit card, and counter transactions.
"The premier banking makes your money work harder for you," he said, adding "Client can also demand products that reflect his/her status in life."
As part of its contribution to the communities it operates, the bank has initiated several initiatives meant for community social responsibility, including 'Banking on Change (BoC) which is bank in partnership with Plan and CARE International is working to strengthen the livelihood security of 60,000 households in Kisarawe, Kibaha, Ifakara, Dar Urban, Mwanza and Geita.
It its third year of operation, BoC initiative has so far benefited 43,000 households which have been formed from over 1,800 groups. As of December 2011, these groups were tracking close to $2m in both savings and loans issued.
In preserving the environment, for the past three years, Barclays in partnership with World Wide Fund (WWF), has been working on a conservation programme to preserve East Africa's resources and livelihoods.
A total of £1.3 million (about $2.1 million) was invested over the three-year period to address the following threats to biodiversity and environment: the micro-finance initiative, sustainable fisheries within Rufiji, Mafia and Kilwa (RUMAKI) seascape, good woods sustainable carving, climate change adaptation and the sustainable charcoal through Dar es Salaam Energy Project.
According to Barclays in 2011, over 500 the bank's employees from the 32 bank branches volunteered their time and skills donating 300 hours valued at an estimated Tsh30m (about $ 19,052.477).
Barclays Bank, which re-entered the market in 2000 after it was nationalized in 1967, has over 110,000 customers served in 22 branches, and 41 ATMs located countrywide.