Photograph — Universal Reporters

In response to growing consumer demand for innovative banking services on the continent, Standard Chartered has commenced the second phase of its initiative to roll out digital-only retail banking in Africa, the company said in a press release.

The expanded rollout comes on the heels of the successful launch of its first digital retail bank in Côte d’Ivoire last year. The bank will launch its digital solution in four other countries during the first quarter of 2019 starting with Uganda in January, Tanzania in February, followed by Ghana and Kenya.

The second phase builds upon the Core Deposit Intangible (CDI) platform, which gets customers signed up in less than 15 minutes and provides access to 70 of the most common service requests. It also includes QR code and P2P payments, loan and overdraft facilities and instant fixed deposits.

The digital bank will also engage local alliances to create appealing lifestyle banking services for clients across shopping, travel and dining. Clients will be able to enjoy the convenience of banking on the go, anytime and anywhere, along with a consistent online experience.

“We are thrilled to launch the second phase of our digital-only retail banks across other African markets,” said Sunil Kaushal, regional CEO, Africa and the Middle East.

“The bank continues to make strategic and sustainable investments in technology – this complements our innovation agenda, as well as enhances our digital offerings and client experiences. Digitizing Africa and facilitating access to financial services remains at the heart of our business strategy for the region,” he added.

According to Standard Chartered, Africa is the second fastest-growing market for banking and the second most profitable on a global basis. The retail banking sector in the continent is innovative, a locus of new business models which are emerging, given the lack of banking penetration and the heavy reliance on cash.

Commenting on the launch of the digital bank in Uganda, Governor, Central Bank Governor Prof. Emmanuel Mutebile said “There will continue to be disruption in the Banking sector. Institutions that fail to keep up might lose out and at the very worst be pushed out of business in the long run; however, this disruption to bank business models works in the interest of customers and the general populace.”

To support the digital bankroll out across the four markets, the bank plans to launch a marketing campaign to attract interest. The campaign will run across traditional and social media to remind consumers that banking should not stop them from doing what they love to do, and when they want to do them.

Established in 1969 and headquartered in London (England), Standard Chartered is a British multinational banking and financial services company. It operates a network of around 1,200 branches and outlets across 70 countries. It is a universal bank with operations in consumer, corporate and institutional banking, and treasury services.


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