British multinational banking and financial services company, Standard Chartered has announced the launch of its ongoing digital banking initiative in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The move forms part of its digital transformation strategy in Africa as well as the next wave of its digital-only banks initiative. It follows similar launches in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya, which took place in the first quarter of 2019.
The expansion in Africa comes at a time when the continent is demanding wider access to digital services due in part to a growing economy and expanding population.
The keyboard-based banking solution allows clients to transfer money in real-time, pay utility bills and instantly check balances from within any social or messaging platform. The solution can be configured as the default keyboard on any smartphone, making banking quick and seamless for customers who no longer need to log into their SC Mobile app for basic banking services.
“We want our interactions to be simple, intuitive and seamless,” commented Jaydeep Gupta, Regional Head of Retail Banking for Africa and The Middle East.
The digital banking solution provides Standard Chartered customers across the eight markets with affordable, convenient, fast and easily accessible banking services. The first-of-its-kind digital bank in Botswana and Zambia offers an end-to-end digital account opening experience which has been developed following client feedback to offer a convenient platform to service all their banking needs.
Commenting on the launch, Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa and Middle East said that the move is a significant achievement for the Bank having now launched digital banks in 8 markets in 15 months since its initial launch in Côte d’Ivoire.
“The growing population of Africa is demanding faster and more convenient banking and it has been very rewarding to witness increased acceptance and a growing demand for our digital products across the continent. We have an exciting pipeline of product launches on this platform which will position us as the premier digital bank in our markets of choice,” Kaushal continued.
The lender stated that by digitalising the entire banking experience, customers will be able to enjoy simple, secure, and affordable banking anytime, anywhere. Active customers of the digital bank will also be eligible to receive loyalty benefits and promotions.
In Côte d’Ivoire the digital bank has exceeded initial expectations with 18,000 new account openings, in Uganda, the Bank has seen an eight-fold increase in new account openings, whilst in Tanzania the Bank has signed up more new customers since launching in March this year than in the whole of 2018.
The Bank is expected to continue its digital expansion in African markets with another launch planned in September for Nigeria.