Absa will grow its business footprint to aid the unbanked

BIGGER: Absa will spend R345 million to grow its service base. Pic. Jeremy Glyn. © Sunday Times.
BIGGER: Absa will spend R345 million to grow its service base. Pic. Jeremy Glyn. © Sunday Times.

To increase access to banking in previously disadvantaged communities, banking group Absa will spend R345million next year to increase its branch footprint across the country.

To increase access to banking in previously disadvantaged communities, banking group Absa will spend R345million next year to increase its branch footprint across the country.

"Network expansion will follow from the requirements of the Financial Sector Charter to provide access to low-income individuals and will also flow from Absa's secular growth across all customer segments," said Venete Klein, deputy managing executive of Absa Business Banking Services.

The bank's branch network will be increased from 759 branches to 810 by the addition of 8 traditional branches in predominantly black market areas, 10 micro-loan centres, 30 portable branches, one student lifestyle centre and two small business centres.

The total planned investment in the branch network is R232million, which includes re-alignments and moves.

The self-service network, currently consisting of 6776 ATMs, 96 Internet kiosks and 91 self-service kiosks, will be boosted by 375 ATMs, 200 Internet kiosks, 175 self-service kiosks and 30 cash acceptors at a total cost of R113million.

In another project to take banking and other services to the people, Absa has joined forces with Blue Label Investments to grow its reach by helping in the roll-out of 2300 ZOK containers in the next three years, thereby trying to contribute to job creation for about 9200 people.

ZOK constitutes a consortium made up of ZCC, Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs, Blue Label Investments and cellular service provider Vodacom.

The partners provide telephone, Internet access and ATM facilities in most ZOK containers. - I-Net Bridge

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