Standard Chartered continues the expansion of its digital transformation strategy for Africa as it has just launched digital banks in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This follows on the bank launching its digital-only banks in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya during the the first quarter of 2019 and launching its first digital bank in Côte d'Ivoire during 2018.

According to Standard Chartered, one of the improvements as a result of the digital bank experience is that the client onboarding process has been digitized and clients can open a new account in under 15 minutes.

“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 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,” said Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa and Middle East.

Social banking

One of the interesting features of Standard Chartered's new digital banking offering is their social banking which features what they call the SC Keyboard.

The SC Keyboard is reported to allow Standard Chartered's customers to access banking services from within any social media or messaging platform without having to open the banking app. It allows clients to transfer money in real-time, pay utility bills and instantly check balances from within any social or messaging platform. It can also be configured as the default keyboard on any smartphone so that banking customers can access banking services seamlessly without having to log into the Standard Chartered mobile banking app.

“Following the additional rollouts of our online retail banks across Africa, SC Keyboard is an important milestone in our digital journey. SC Keyboard was designed with our clients in mind, as users can now pay their bills, view their account balances and transfer money to their friends or family through any social or messaging platform. Increased prosperity has made the African population more financially savvy and many users seek new and easy ways to handle their money. We want our interactions to be simple, intuitive and seamless – with, we will remain committed to leveraging the best technology to bridge digital and human channels and enhance customer centricity and service delivery,” said Jaydeep Gupta, Regional Head of Retail Banking, Africa and Middle East.

Africa continues to see a rising number of social media users. According to the Hootsuite and We Are Social Global Digital Report 2019, in 2018 alone the African continent saw a 12 percent increase in active social media users and a 15 percent increase in active mobile social media users. This is not surprising given that 82% of the population have mobile connections.

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