Taking payments to new heights
Africa’s largest automated clearing house (ACH), BankservAfrica, successfully completed an electronic funds transfer (EFT) payment at 4 330 metres on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Responsible for settling and clearing the majority of South Africa’s interbank transactions, the team of 12 staff ensured that BankservAfrica became the first known ACH to summit Kilimanjaro.
Head of group marketing Michael Rubenstein (who participated in the expedition) explains it was very exciting when at 4 330 metres an EFT was made to African Ascent Project, who provides assistance through various Kilimanjaro guide and porter projects. “As a company we pride ourselves on our innovation within the payments arena, which has enabled us to become one of the leading ACHs in the world. Not only did we want to place our company flag on top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, we wanted to make a payment showcasing the simplicity we enable through our payment systems.”
Building brand equity on an African scale was showcased in the truest sense by BankservAfrica as their CEO of Africa Cuthbert Tembedza took part in the challenge and together with the team proudly waved the company’s flag at Uhuru Peak, which at 5 895 meters above sea level is the highest free standing mountain in the world.
“We are excited to literally and physically take our company and brand into Africa, thereby contributing positively to the enhancement and modernisation of the payments infrastructure across the continent,” says Tembedza.
Rubenstein explains with the growing internal brand consciousness, they decided to drive brand awareness in a multi-dimensional manner through this expedition.
“Staff in South Africa were able to go on a virtual trip as pictures and updates were uploaded onto both our intranet and Facebook page throughout the week long hike, enabling family and friends to share in the experience. The enthusiastic response from staff via these social networks, provided much needed support for the team when the mountain seemed insurmountable.”
Funds have also been raised for BankservAfrica’s corporate social investment (CSI) projects: Randeor School and the Coronation Training Centre in Johannesburg. Rubenstein excitedly says through the “metre for more” sponsorship campaign, team members raised over R50 000 which BankservAfrica will match, bringing the total amount raised to over R100 000.
Prior to embarking on this trip the company had also decided to offset their carbon footprint as a result of the Kilimanjaro travels by planting trees at both Randeor School and Coronation Training Centre. The reality of global warming was brought home in a very stark manner says Rubenstein, by the diminishing glaciers evident at Uhuru Peak, which also acted as great inspiration for the team members to reach the top and view these glaciers for themselves.
The company believes that initiatives like these motivate staff members to challenge themselves and ultimately build a stronger company.