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Standard Chartered Extends its Digital Strategy Across Africa

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Standard Chartered has announced yet another multi-market launch of its digital bank in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe as part of its digital transformation strategy in Africa.

The next wave of digital-only banks follows launches in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya in the first quarter of the year and Côte d’Ivoire in 2018.

The expansion in Africa comes at a time when the continent, with a growing economy and population, is demanding wider access to digital services.

The digital banking solution provides Standard Chartered customers across the eight markets with affordable, convenient, fast and easily accessible banking services.

The first-of-its-kind digital bank in Botswana and Zambia offers a truly end-to-end digital account opening experience which has been developed following client feedback to offer a convenient platform to service all their banking needs.

Commenting on the launch, Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO, Africa and Middle East said: “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.”

By digitalising the entire banking experience, customers will be able to enjoy simple, secure, and affordable banking anytime, anywhere. Active customers of the digital bank will also be eligible to receive loyalty benefits and promotions.

In just under 15 months, Standard Chartered has launched its digital banks in eight markets across Sub-Saharan Africa with impressive results.

In Côte d’Ivoire the digital bank has exceeded initial expectations with 18,000 new account openings, in Uganda the Bank has seen an eight-fold increase in new account openings, whilst in Tanzania the Bank has signed up more new customers since launching in March this year than in the whole of 2018.

The Bank is expected to continue its digital expansion in African markets with another launch planned in September for Nigeria.

Launch of social banking with SC Keyboard

In its continued efforts to meet the rising demands of Africa’s young and digitally-savvy population, 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.

The unique digital solution can be configured as the default keyboard on any smartphone, making banking quick and seamless for customers who no longer need to log into their SC Mobile app for basic banking services.

The solution is ideal for the African market, which 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 percent of the population have mobile connections.

Jaydeep Gupta, Regional Head of Retail Banking, Africa and Middle East, said: “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.”


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FG Makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

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Federal government on Friday apologised for asking all account holders in financial institutions in the country to re-register their personal details.

FG makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

Recall that the federal government had on Thursday ‎ordered that all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms should complete and submit self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.

The notice issued by the government to that effect read, ‎“This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc.) are required to obtain, complete, and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.

“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions are required to complete and submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures, in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.‎”

The directive raised eyebrows, as account holders already possessed Bank Verification Numbers.

Following widespread condemnation that trailed the directive, the Federal Government backtracked on Friday, saying the fresh guidelin‎e was not for all Nigerians.

The government attributed the development to misinformation.

The clarification issued by the government on Friday read, ‎“We apologise for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the notice does not apply to everybody. ‎FIRS will clarify Nigerians on the objectives of the directive.”

Also on Friday, FIRS, in a statement posted on Twitter, explained that the guidelines were only for non-residents, as well as people paying tax in more than one country.

Parts of the FIRS statement read, “The Self Certification Form is basically to be administered on Reportable Persons, holding accounts in Financial institutions, that are regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS.

“Reportable persons are often non-residents and other persons, who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or country.”

“The information that indicates an account holder is a resident for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction, is expected to be available to Financial Institutions during account opening processes, for the KYC and AML purpose.”


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Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

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Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has disowned Tope Olajide, 22-year-old fraudster arraigned for theft of customers deposits.

Stanbic IBTC Bank Disowns Lagos ATM Fraudster

The Bank said this in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement said: “The attention of the management of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC has been drawn to news currently circulating in the media, about the alleged arraignment of staff of the Bank on charges bordering on the theft of customers deposits.

“The Bank would like to clarify that the defendant, a 22-year-old Tope Olajide, IS NOT, and was at no point in time an employee of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC.

“The alleged culprit was apprehended around 7:30 am, on Thursday, 27 August 2020, by security operatives after he was exposed by CCTV footage using ATM cards he had allegedly stolen and converted, to make withdrawals from the accounts tied to the stolen ATMs.

“The CCTV footage also showed the alleged culprit pretending to assist customers at ATMs whilst also attempting to fraudulently dispossess the customers of their ATMs.

“He was subsequently arraigned before an Ikeja Magistrate Court on Monday, 14 September, for stealing the debit cards of two customers and using them to unlawfully withdraw the sum of N427,000.

“The Bank would also like to implore members of the public to be security conscious when conducting transactions at ATMs. Customers are advised to report any suspicious actions around them to security operatives who are usually stationed around the Bank’s ATMs, when carrying out transactions at any of our ATM locations.

“As an organisation, we hold dear the values of integrity, and we will continue to prioritise the safety of our customers effectively.”


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Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

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President Muhammadu  Buhari has approved the establishment of an   Infrastructure Company (Infraco) to be driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in partnership with the African Finance Corporation (AFC) and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

Buhari Okays Establishment of CBN-Led Infraco

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor

This is coming  on the heels of the foreign reserves’ slump to $36 billion following a cocktail of monetary policy interventions by the apex bank to cushion the scathing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, made these disclosures in Abuja at the annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) with the theme: Facilitating a Sustainable Future: The role of Banking and Finance.

According to him, Infraco would enable the use of private and public capital to support infrastructure investment that will have a multiplier effect on growth across critical sectors.

“This entity would also be able to raise funds from the capital markets and mobilise long term finance to address some of our infrastructure needs, while providing reasonable returns to investors. “We believe this well-structured fund can act as a catalyst for growth in the medium and the long run. The support of the banking community will be important in achieving this objective.

“A well-built infrastructure system, comprising hard infrastructure such as roads and ports, and soft infrastructure such as broadband penetration, can have a multiplier effect on growth by enabling the expansion of business activities in the country”, he explained.

On foreign reserves, Emefiele attributed its crash to the decline in foreign exchange earnings and subsequent adjustments in the value of the naira to the dollar.


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