By Irene Gaitirira
Published June 3, 2016
A million customers across eight African countries shall benefit from what is described as “the most extensive digital roll-out of its kind in Africa by an international bank.”
Standard Chartered Bank of Britain says it is bringing its newest mobile and online banking platform to Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Here, it says, “clients will enjoy a consistent online experience across laptops, tablets or mobile phones, and the convenience of banking from the location of their choice.”
The bank says it will in the second half of 2016 follow up this innovation with fingerprint recognition technology to give customers “a more secure and convenient way to log in to their accounts.”
Standard Chartered says this service is supported by its global-standard technology.
â€œWeâ€™re bringing the best in mobile banking to Africa â€“ consumers across the continent are increasingly affluent and tech-savvy and they want convenient access to their bank, wherever they happen to be,â€ says Karen Fawcett, Standard Charteredâ€™s CEO for Retail Banking. â€œAfrica is important to Standard Chartered and this launch is another demonstration of that.â€
“We are committed to making banking easier, faster and safer for our more than 1 million retail clients across Africa,â€ says Jaydeep Gupta, Standard Charteredâ€™s regional head of Retail Banking for Africa and the Middle East. â€œThis multi-country roll-out is in line with our promise to bring world-class products and functionality to Africa, consistent with the trends and progress we are making in our international markets in Asia and the Middle East. By early next year, we expect at least 35% of all client transactions to be done through online channels; significantly advancing the transformation of banking in Africa.â€
The launch is reported to be central to Standard Charteredâ€™s strategy of using digital technology to deliver the future of banking to clients in Africa. The Bank announced in 2015 it would invest US$1.5 billion in technology globally over three years.
With Africaâ€™s mobile penetration estimated to be around 67%, the launch brings Standard Chartered Mobile, Standard Charteredâ€™s mobile banking application to Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe for the first time. In Nigeria and Ghana, mobile banking clients will move to the Bankâ€™s standard global platform. Through Standard Chartered Mobile, clients can check balances, transfer money and pay bills securely, all through their smartphones.
Standard Chartered is also said to be upgrading its online banking platform in these eight markets, so clients will benefit from improved navigation and user-friendly interfaces on the Bankâ€™s websites. Clients will soon be able to use a new self-service option for wealth management that lets them set up their investment profiles online and find out which products are most suitable by answering a series of questions on their financial position, investment objectives and risk tolerance.
Overall, clients will enjoy a consistent mobile and online banking experience: usernames and passwords, beneficiaries, standing instructions and bill payees are replicated across both channels. Paying bills is easier too as the revamp comes with an expanded list of utility companies, cable TV and internet providers.
Bringing the future of banking to Africa â€“ This online and mobile banking platform puts Standard Chartered at the forefront of digital banking technology in Africa and the first international bank to extend a brand-new global platform to eight countries in one rollout. In Kenya and Nigeria, the bank also recently launched the Retail Workbench, a tablet-based sales-and-service tool that â€œbrings the bank to clients.â€ Retail Workbench allows sales staff can open an account for a client in any location and makes banking services like loan approvals and credit card issuance fast, simple and completely paperless. Zimbabwe and Zambia have also launched digital branches, revolutionising traditional branch formats.
Standard Charteredâ€™s retail banking business serves the banking needs of nearly 10 million individual and business clients across more than 30 markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, through more than 1,000 branches, 5,000 ATMS and a range of digital and staff-assisted channels. In 2015, Global Finance named Standard Chartered the Worldâ€™s Best Consumer Digital Bank and Best Regional Consumer Digital Bank for Africa and the Middle East.