Standard Chartered is rolling out a new mobile and online banking service to serve one million clients across eight African markets as part of a three-year $1.5 billion commitment to a digital future.
The rollout - which will give customers a consistent online experience across laptops, tablets or mobile phones - begins in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe in the first half of 2016.
At a time when other banks are pulling back from expansion in African markets, Standard Chartered sees a bright future for banks that deploy digital technology to reach clients across the region, which has a 67% mobile penetration.
As part of the upgrade, the bank is introducing a rudimentary robo-advisory service for wealth management, enabling clients to set up their investment profiles online and find out which products are most suitable by answering a series of questions on their financial position, investment objectives and risk tolerance.
“Consumers across the continent are increasingly affluent and tech-savvy and they want convenient access to their bank, wherever they happen to be,” says Karen Fawcett, Standard Chartered’s CEO for retail banking. “Africa is important to Standard Chartered and this launch is another demonstration of that.”
By early next year, the bank expects 35% of all client transactions to be done through online channels.
Fawcett says the launch is central to Standard Chartered’s strategy of using digital technology to deliver the future of banking to clients in Africa. The bank last year announced it will invest $1.5bn in technology globally over three years.