Standard Chartered digital-only retail banks to enter four African markets

Banking giant set to roll out digital-only banks in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya, following 2018 pilot launch in Côte d’Ivoire


Standard Chartered has announced the launch of its second wave of digital-only retail banks across four African markets, following a successful pilot launch in Côte d’Ivoire in 2018.

The bank entered the Ugandan market in January and three other launches are set to follow in 1Q19, with Tanzania scheduled for launch later this month, and Ghana and Kenya to follow before the end of the quarter.

According to the FTSE 100 constituent, the second wave of digital-only retail bank launches across Africa comes in response to growing consumer demand for innovative banking services across the continent.

The second phase, which follows on Standard Chartered's first digital retail bank in Côte d’Ivoire last year, will aim to build on the platform it has established in the West African country, where clients can onboard in fewer than 15 minutes and have access to 70 common service requests.

Sunil Kaushal, regional CEO – African and Middle East for Standard Chartered, remarked: "Digitizing Africa and facilitating access to financial services remains at the heart of our business strategy for the region.

"Africa's banking market is the second-fastest-growing and second-most profitable globally. The retail banking sector is a focus of new business models which are emerging in response to low levels of banking penetration and heavy use of cash in the sub-Saharan continent."

Uganda Central Bank Governor Prof. Emmanuel Mutebile commented: "There will continue to be disruption in the banking sector. Institutions that fail to keep up might lose out and at the very worst be pushed out of business in the long run. This disruption to bank business models, however, works in the interest of customers and the general populace."

The digital banks will provide services such as QR code and P2P payments, loan and overdraft facilities, and instant fixed deposits, with digital services available via the Standard Chartered mobile application.

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