By Dipo Olowookere
Standard Chartered has announced the start of the second phase of its digital-only retail bank across Africa.
In response to growing consumer demand for innovative banking services on the continent, the lender will launch its digital solution in four key markets during the first quarter of 2019 starting in Uganda in January, followed by Tanzania in February, with Ghana and Kenya to follow.
Following the successful launch of Standard Chartered’s first digital retail bank in Côte d’Ivoire last year, the second phase builds on the original CDI platform that onboards clients in under 15 minutes and provides 70 of the most common service requests.
The updated digital bank provides enhanced services including QR code and P2P payments, loan and overdraft facilities, and instant fixed deposits. Clients will be able to enjoy the convenience of banking on the go, anytime and anywhere, along with a consistent online experience.
The roll out will also see the Bank engage in strategic local alliances to create an appealing lifestyle banking proposition to provide clients offers across shopping, travel and dining.
Commenting on the second phase of the launch, Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa and Middle East said, “We are thrilled to launch the second phase of our digital-only retail banks across other African markets. 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. Digitising Africa and facilitating access to financial services remains at the heart of our business strategy for the region.”
Africa’s banking market is the second-fastest-growing and second-most profitable globally. The retail banking sector is a locus of new business models which are emerging in response to low levels of banking penetration and heavy use of cash in the Sub-Saharan continent.
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. I therefore congratulate Standard Chartered Bank on unveiling this revolutionary digital initiative as I believe that with such innovations, we are making significant progress in embracing technological changes and digitization to help us achieve stable and long-term growth.”
To support the digital bank roll out across the four markets, aimed at driving digital adoption amongst new and existing clients focusing on young digital natives, the bank will also launch a marketing campaign dubbed ‘//BEUNSTOPPABLE’, Bank on the go! 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.
In Uganda, Standard Chartered has also partnered with popular Ugandan entertainer and comedian Anne Kansiime to drive awareness of the new digital bank in the market. As part of her role, Anne will be promoting the bank’s digital banking capabilities and will lend her voice and image rights through a series of Marketing and Community engagement activities over the next 12 months.
The bank’s digital services are available by downloading the Standard Chartered mobile application via the Google play store or Apple store.
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