Photograph — Universal Reporters

Multinational financial services company, Standard Chartered Plc, has introduced its digital retail banking platform to three new African countries – Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

The expansion, which is in line with the bank’s digital transformation strategy in the continent, comes after the launch of digital-only banks in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya in the first quarter of this year and Côte d’Ivoire in 2018.

“This is a significant achievement for the Bank having now launched digital banks in 8 markets in 15 months of our initial launch in Côte d’Ivoire,” the bank’s Regional CEO for Africa and the Middle East, Sunil Kaushal said on the launch.

With the digital banking solution, Standard Chartered said customers across the eight markets are provided with affordable, convenient, fast and easily accessible financial services.

In Botswana and Zambia for instance, the maiden digital bank offers a digital account opening experience that was developed based on client feedback. This is to enable the bank to offer a convenient platform to service all their (clients) banking needs.

Kaushal added that there is also an exciting pipeline of product launches on the platform that will position SC as the premier digital bank in markets where it is present. One of such product innovations is the newly-launched SC Keyboard for mobile devices. 

According to the Regional Head of Retail Banking for Africa and the Middle East, Jaydeep Gupta, SC Keyboard is an important milestone in the company’s digital journey following the additional rollouts of Standard Chartered’s online retail banks across Africa.

The keyboard gives customers access to a variety of financial services from within any social or messaging platform without having to open the Banking app. With it, clients can transfer money in real-time, pay utility bills and instantly check balances quickly and seamlessly. The keyboard-based banking solution has launched in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania.

“The growing population of Africa is demanding faster and more convenient banking and it has been very rewarding to witness increased acceptance and growing demand for our digital products across the continent,” the executive enthused.

The bank is expected to continue its digital expansion in African markets with another launch of its digital bank planned in September for Nigeria. While the SC Keyboard will be rolled out to Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria throughout the rest of the year.

Standard Chartered PLC is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, England. It operates a network of more than 1,200 branches and outlets across more than 70 countries and employs around 87,000 people.

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