” Its Your Story that Matters’: Absa repositions its brand, promises better services in Africa

Absa says its business is set to shift to focus more on the needs of its customers across Africa as it unveiled its revitalized brand promise of ‘Your Story Matters’.

Its offerings will be more “human-centered and empathetic” to align with its internal corporate purpose of ‘Empowering Africa’s tomorrow together, one story at a time’ unveiled in 2023.

Absa Group CEO Arrie Rautenbach says the institution will improve services for clients who only interact with them digitally to in-branch walk-ins to ensure better customer experience.

“Your Story Matters is more than a strapline, it is a declaration of our intent that our customers are much more than mere account numbers, they matter to us and so do the stories behind the individuals,” said Rautenbach.

He added: “Gaining this context will allow Absa to serve them in a more meaningful manner.”

The financial institution, which is listed in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, says the move was occasioned by a comprehensive review of customer insights, feedback and research.

“Customers feel that the relationship is one-sided and that banks don’t understand either their life situations or their individual needs,” noted Absa Group Chief Marketing and Corporate Affairs Officer Sydney Nhlanhla Mbhele.

He added: “This often leaves them feeling helpless as well as disconnected from opportunities to improve their individual or business prospects.”

Absa, which is present in 10 African countries, its ecosystem will incorporate more humanity as it seeks to boost its digital banking offerings and expanding its physical banking network.

The bank, which has five representative offices in strategic markets including London, New York and Beijing, has provided a R1 billion pricing relief in South Africa in the last few years.

Financial inclusion products Absa has unveiled recently include the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), ChatWallet, ChatBanking, Absa Mobi Tap and an affordable credit facility in collaboration with Mastercard Foundation targeting SMEs.

Absa also unveiled Women in Business offerings in four African markets for female entrepreneurs backed by mentorship programmes to empower women-led businesses.

Its financial literacy projects and ‘Ready to Work’ programmes have seen its customers and youth empowered with knowledge to be become better in facing jobs of the future.

This brand repositioning comes five years after the financial institution became a standalone African bank and marks a significant point in its growth and development.

“Over the past four years, we have achieved great success in building our brand in this market, with at least 90 per cent Kenyans identifying with the brand and experiencing significant growth in consideration,” said Absa Bank Kenya Managing Director Abdi Mohamed.

He added, “This new chapter gives us an opportunity to get even closer to and build meaningful connections with our customers and stakeholders.”

Absa Group owns majority stakes in banks in Kenya, Botswana, Ghana, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania (Absa Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce), Uganda and Zambia awith insurance arms in Kenya, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia.

It also operates representative offices in China, Namibia, Nigeria and US, and securities entities in the UK and US, along with technology support entities in the Czech Republic.