JOHANNESBURG – Multinational banking and financial services company Standard Chartered on Friday announced the launch of its digital bank in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe as part of its transformation strategy in Africa, following similar moves in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya during the first quarter of 2019 and in Côte d’Ivoire last year.
The expansion comes amid rising demand for wider access to digital services in Africa, which has a growing population and economy.
“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,” Standard Chartered regional CEO for Africa and Middle East Sunil Kaushal said.
“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.”
In Côte d’Ivoire the digital bank has exceeded initial expectations with 18,000 new account openings, while in Uganda it has seen an eight-fold increase. In Tanzania the bank has signed up more new customers since launching in March this year than in the whole of 2018.
It is expected to continue its digital expansion in Africa with another launch planned in September for Nigeria.
Standard Chartered has also launched SC Keyboard, which allows customers to access a variety of financial services from within any social or messaging platform without having to open the banking app.
Initially launched in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania, the solution is a first for the bank in Africa and will be rolled out to Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria throughout the rest of the year.
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.
– African News Agency (ANA)
Financial Inclusion: Ecobank Group And Alipay Partner On cross-border remittance
Alipay users to benefit from Ecobank’s cross-border remittance solution
LOME, Togo, February 12, 2020 – The leading pan-African bank, Ecobank has signed a cross-border remittance agreement with Alipay, the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform, that aims to bring more inclusive financial services by providing a fast, safe, affordable and convenient way for workers to transfer money back home.
The partnership will facilitate instant transfers from Rapid transfer, Ecobank’s remittance solution, to users of Alipay, which serves more than 1.2 billion people globally together with its local e-wallet partners. This provides an additional channel option which will increase options available to users, help lower transaction costs and enhance the quality of service in the market.
Nana ABBAN, Group Consumer Banking Head said: “Our panafrican cross-border remittance solution, Rapidtransfer, has over the years been delivering transparent, convenient, and affordable services to the African diaspora and their African-based dependants. So, it is a natural extension for us to use it to deliver the same advantages to migrant workers across Africa. Through our partnership with Alipay we are further leveraging the scale and capacity of our unified payments ecosystem on the global stage.”
“We are excited to partner with Ecobank and use our technology to bring fast, affordable, and convenient remittance services to more users globally, especially workers who are living far from home,” said Ma ZHIGUO, Alipay’s head of the global remittances business. “We are committed to working with partners such as Ecobank, using innovative technologies to help global consumers gain access to inclusive financial services, creating greater value for society and bringing equal opportunities to the world.”
The solution will be rolled out across our entire footprint, subject to required local approvals.
A “Meeting of Minds” Report Identifies Five Main Challenges Facing African Banks
Pierre-Guy Noël, Chief Executive-MCB Group (Source: The Mauritius Commercial Bank Ltd (MCB)
Further to the “Meeting of Minds” workshop, a report probing into discussions has been published this week by Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB)
PORT LOUIS, Mauritius, December 20, 2019- In October 2019, during the tenth Africa Forward Together (AFT) forum in Mauritius and spearheaded by Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), a special workshop aptly called “Meeting of Minds” session leveraged the insight and brainpower of over 35 C-level and senior banking leaders across the African region and beyond.
The aim of this session was to identify and prioritise the main challenges faced by their banks in five distinct but interlinked areas that were purposefully scoped to look beyond numbers:
- Operational Efficiency
- Corporate Sustainability
Further to the “Meeting of Minds” workshop, a report probing into discussions has been published this week by MCB. It identifies five main challenges facing African banks and financial institutions, as follows:
- Lack of technical expertise amidst the increased cybersecurity risk
- KYC issues hampering financial inclusion
- Talent Management, retention and development
- Customers’ education and staff skills gap
- IT & Digitalisation and Transformation Programme – Expertise
On a maximum rating of 9 points, the experts assessed the following:
- Cybersecurity and lack of experience: 7.1
- Inadequate institutional framework is a burden: 7.1
- Talent management: 7
In the editorial of the report, MCB Group CEO, Pierre-Guy Noël speaks of an alignment of African banks and institutions on the key issues they have to face. “Considering the relative heterogeneity of African markets in terms of distinct characteristics and level of maturity in consumer behaviour, there was a remarkable alignment on the challenges facing the region’s financial institutions,” he said. On the main threat posed by cybesecurity, MCB Group CEO observed : “Additionally, there is a lack of appropriate risk assessment and framework that caters for the exigencies arising from the use and adoption of new digital solutions.
The rise of cybersecurity attacks and other cyber frauds were therefore highlighted as the most significant challenge, compounded by the lack of technical expertise and familiarity at senior levels in these fields (…) In parallel across the rest of most institutions, is the significant shortage of technical expertise and know-how in IT, digitalisation and related transformation programmes…”
The lack of KYC and other compliance frameworks “to facilitate the on-boarding of unbanked segments remain a key obstacle for regional banks to further financial inclusion. This challenge emerged in many discussions”, added Mr. Noël, who also stresses upon the challenge of developing solutions from customer segments that are distinct and sometimes unrelated (urban customers with high digital literacy vs rural unbanked segments requiring traditional supports and channels).
Last but not least, sustainable development and the necessity to embed its principles into corporate DNA are also issues highlighted by Mr. Noël. “The alignment of long-term value to stakeholders with corporate sustainability requires a considerable strategic push, a deep adjustment of corporate culture and a more measured risk-management mindset. This adjustment will have to take place sooner than later, because a trusted bank with a wider positive impact is increasingly being upheld as the minimum standard vis-à-vis stakeholders ranging from our own customers and central banks, to providers of lines of credit”.
MCB’s CEO insists on the fact that the insights of the report can help prioritise strategies for the future and promote awareness “that collaboration and partnership within the region has potential to address many of the common challenges facing African banking and financial services today”.
Read the full “Meeting of Minds” report here http://bit.ly/2MfPRy2
InsurTech: Our Technology, Your Insurance App Solution- Coert Knoetze, CEO, Snap-it Cover
Coert Knoetze, Managing Director at Snap-it Cover
InsurTech is the current fourth industrial revolution, digitisation is at the order of the day, computers are communicating without human intervention, autonomous vehicles, microchip implants, machine learning robots, only to mention a few, allare here to stay. We are living the reality of smart factories and a new dawn of technological innovations.
At every conference, every Broker breakfast we attend, every insurance Magazine we open, InsurTech is mentioned. Conferences are being held around the Globe with InsurTech being the buzzword of late. Times are changing fast, even our strategic business Partners are using Apps and doing virtual sales to complement their distribution channels.“Trov” is popping up all over the world, Hollard introduced us to “Naked”, Compass and Bryte went fruitful with “Pineapple” and “Granadilla”, Constantia came up with “Ja-Sure” and what will follow next?
Our own Brokerages will become more proactive and less time will be wasted if we embrace the technology InsurTech is delivering. For the first time your technology will elevate your revenue with relatively very little human input required. But that is on condition you do it well and adopt the correct technology to enhance your expertise. The network of computers is more efficient to share information, capturing our data, than humanly possible. All there to assist the client at his fingertips… The true power of Revolution 4.0 is upon us, whether we like it or not.
A new opportunity has arrived which it truly ground-breaking, a reality check in many ways catering for the expectations of the “new client”. But speed is of the essence, the expression “First come, first served” has never been truer, our landscape has changed forever. How many Insurers are there prepared to support your initiative? It is a short term window of opportunity for Insurers and Brokers alike to use digital platforms and make it part of their value proposition.
Doing so will set them apart from the competition and thus creating a uniqueness in their offer. Theself-explanatory concept of “being out there”from the origin, from the beginning, needs no elaboration.Don’t be oblivious to the challenges, embrace it and optimize the offer with a proactive approach. Make this revolution your own.
At Snap-It we have captured the core of Short Term Insurance, the offer, the service, the support and the “promise we made”. We have learnt from practical involvement, we’ve been taught by our own mistakes and reproduced you the initiative, in one awesome App.
Snap-it is a white label App which can easily be changed and resemble any Broker’s, any Insurer’s look and feel. Your own online App at a fraction of the cost. “Insurance-on-the-Go”, “On-Demand”, does not matter how you refer to it, it is insurance cover for when our client requires it. Your client decides daily, weekly or the traditional monthly insurance to be purchased. Yes “daily”, no more wasting premium where the risk is within your client’s ability to manage.
We ventured on your behalf, combined our experiences, summarised the intention of the competition, requested the input of many and now we are ready to roll out and supply the need. We are there to support you, not only in the supply of this awesome App but also an alternative to the norm, one amazing business opportunity too.
Contact us at [email protected]
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