Standard Chartered's (SC) Straight2Bank mobile wallet service has won a new contract with Jhpiego, an international health organisation affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, to instantly disburse funds to its beneficiaries in Kenya. The SC corporate service has also been rolled out to Zambia, Tanzania and Bangladesh.
The ability to make cashless mobile payments in Kenya will help Jhpiego reach banked and unbanked beneficiaries in the country that do not have access to basic financial services due to infrastructure and economic challenges. It will significantly aid its cash management efficiency, a primary driver in the corporate contract award.
Greater security, thanks to the elimination of cash, and increased speed of remittance are other expected benefits, as the Straight2Bank Wallet service is added to Jhpiego’s treasury operations.
Commenting on the link-up, Ronald Geary, vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) at Jhpiego, said: “The use of mobile wallet services such as Straight2Bank Wallet underscores our commitment to reaching out to Jhpiego beneficiaries in as safe and efficient a fashion as possible.
“The rapid delivery of resources to our vendors and beneficiaries enables us to rapidly respond to the changing needs of women and families worldwide.”
First introduced in Kenya in 2013, SC’s Straight2Bank Wallet enables corporations, governments and development organisations, such as Jhpiego, to make cashless payments to both banked and unbanked individuals. This builds on the consumer-focused mobile payment services already established in Kenya by M-Pesa, a pioneer in the mobile money field.
Zambia, Tanzania and Bangladesh rollout
Standard Chartered has since expanded its platform’s coverage to corporate clients in other markets in Africa and Asia. For instance, the bank recently collaborated with Airtel Money in Zambia, Tigo and Vodacom in Tanzania, and bKash in Bangladesh, to launch the service in these markets.
Gautam Jain, SC’s global head of client access, transaction banking, said he was, “delighted to announce the expansion of the Straight2Bank Wallet platform into Zambia, Tanzania and Bangladesh”.
Straight2Bank Walllet is already established in Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines. Standard Chartered says it plans to roll out the platform to additional corporate customers and markets throughout 2015.
“Conversations around the use of mobile wallet services in emerging markets continue to grow as companies, NGOs and development organisations increasingly see the value in using technology to electronically disburse and collect cash,” said Dan Scanlan, SC’s regional transaction banking head for the Americas. “Technology has made it easier to process transactions and drive financial inclusion, while making a difference in the communities that we operate in.”
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