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Standard Chartered launches digital banks and social banking solution in Africa

The social banking is a first for the bank in Africa and will be rolled out to Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria. (Image source: Standard Chartered)

Standard Chartered, a multinational banking and financial services company, has announced the 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 2019 and last year in Côte d’Ivoire.

Sunil Kaushal, regional CEO, Africa and the Middle East, said, “This is a significant achievement for the bank having now launched digital banks in eight 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 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,” he added.

The digital bank has exceeded initial expectations in Côte d’Ivoire with 18,000 new account openings, while the bank has seen an eight-fold increase in Uganda. Since its launch in March this year, the bank has signed up more new customers in Tanzania than in the whole of 2018.

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

Standard Chartered has also launched SC Keyboard, which allows customers to access a variety of financial services from any social or messaging platform without having to open the banking app.

The solution initially launched in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, and Tanzania 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 any social or messaging platform.

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