About a week ago, the Zambia National Commercial (Zanaco)Bank branches were closed for the implementation of software upgrades. As a result, customers were to solely conduct their banking via electronic channels. One would think this was a breakthrough for Zanaco software upgrades while the bank remained electronically operational. The amazing thing would be for the bank to have a successful and effective electronic backup system. Unfortunately, it turns out that this is not the case. Since the upgrades, long queues have characterised Zanaco automated teller machines (ATMs) due to a faulty system. In fact there are claims that Zanaco is running on a single system unlike in the past when they operated two systems with one acting as back-up.
The Post Online reports that Sources within the banking sector said Zanaco’s new software was problematic and responsible for the chaos at most branches of Rabobank-owned bank as jam-packed banking halls and long-winding queues at ATMs remained a common feature. According to the article, Zanaco communications manager Maria Karima confirmed the operational difficulties the bank had been enduring operating a new system. Ms. Karima stated that the upgrades were an opportunity for the Bank to reduce the length of account numbers from 16 to 13 digits thus conforming with the Zambia electronic clearing house regulations.
Sadly, there is no statement of apology on the website regarding these inconveniences to the customers. One would think that customer service exceeded technicalities. Instead, we read that Armaguard security personnel were kept busy as they worked tirelessly calming down angry customers. What a way to live up to the motto of “Big Strong Reliable”. From a customer point of view, it would be nice to see this issue addressed before a public outcry. Proactive customer service is actually very profitable in terms of customer retention, acquisition and growth.