Creating a digital platform, application modernization and cloud migration of the continent’s largest financial institution. Thus it will enable innovation, resilience, and cost-efficiencies allowing Standard Bank to respond to customer needs
Standard Bank and Microsoft announced a strategic partnership to accelerate the digital transformation of Africa’s largest financial institution. Consequently, drive the continent’s growth. The Bank’s growing investment in the Microsoft Cloud will enable innovation, efficiencies, and resilience. That is required to respond to market dynamics and customer needs.
This partnership builds on the 30-year relationship between the two companies. It involves migrating workloads, applications, and platforms to Microsoft Azure. So it could drive organisational efficiencies, as well as workforce collaboration with Azure, PowerApps, Workplace Analytics and Microsoft Teams.
“Investing in the cloud will allow Standard Bank to achieve its strategy. Therefore, it will transform from a traditional financial services company into a digital platform company. It will also be providing financial services, ancillary and associated services, in addition. We have adopted a cloud-first strategy, underpinned by end-to-end security and data-driven insights. Hence it will enable transformation with tangible results,” says Standard Bank Group Chief Executive, Sim Tshabalala.
“Standard Bank’s cloud-first strategy underlines the growing momentum in financial services. It delivers differentiated experiences that today’s customers expect,” said Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s executive vice president of Worldwide Commercial Business. “As a long-standing technology partner, we are pleased to collaborate with Standard Bank. We realize this strategy and in becoming Africa’s future-first financial services firm through digital skilling-focused initiatives. That will expand economic opportunity for young people across Africa.”
As part of the partnership, the companies will also:
- Establish the African Digital Foundry (The Foundry), a strategic alliance, for Standard Bank and Microsoft to collaborate. It will co-create unique solutions through new technology to meet the financial needs of Africa’s consumers. Through the Foundry, the companies aspire to reach 100 million customers in Africa over the next five years.
- Bring together their resources and know-how to provide youth with the relevant digital skills needed to secure future-ready jobs. It will equip Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with digital skills and capabilities. So that they can take advantage of the growing shift to digital technologies.
Standard Bank and Microsoft, through the Foundry, will co-create and execute joint go-to-market digital services. These will relate to trade, payment, and risk-based (lending and insurance) solutions. They will also develop ecosystems enabling digital trading to facilitate Africa’s growth.
“The Foundry is a digital initiative established in Africa, for Africans, to address the unique challenges the continent faces with customised innovations, services and solutions,” says Tshabalala. “The partnership will further enhance and create ongoing collaboration between our firms around co-engineering solutions for African consumers’ unique needs.”
Skills and Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Development
Harnessing the power and reach of both organisations, the partnership will also drive digital skills development, boost youth employment, and accelerate the growth of SMEs on the African continent.
Both organisations believe that digital transformation represents an opportunity for the continent to leap ahead, taking a leading role in enabling economic and societal growth in Africa.
Microsoft and Standard Bank will leverage their combined research, industry, partner and start-up programmes to impact the continent – where similar opportunities and challenges exist – using technology such as mixed reality and artificial intelligence.
“Continuing to build on the partnership is part of the ongoing journey that Standard Bank and Microsoft are on to invest in digital transformation as the enabler of meaningful and tangible innovation. Our journey is underpinned by collaborative efforts to develop, scale and roll-out digital solutions that will deliver personalised services to 100 million Africans and by meeting their unique and evolving needs and demands,” says Tshabalala.
About Standard Bank
Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets, operating in 20 African countries and 5 global financial centres. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, we are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with share code SBK, and the Namibian Stock Exchange, share code SNB.
Standard Bank has a 158-year history in South Africa and started building a franchise outside southern Africa in the early 1990s.
Our strategic position, which enables us to connect Africa to other select emerging markets as well as pools of capital in developed markets, and our balanced portfolio of businesses, provide significant opportunities for growth.
The group has over 50 000 employees, more than 1100 branches and over 6500 ATMs on the African continent, which enable it to deliver a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management.
Headline earnings for 2020 were R15.9 billion and total assets were R2.5 trillion (about USD170 billion). Standard Bank’s market capitalisation as of 31 December 2020 was R209.4 billion (USD14 billion).
The group’s largest shareholder is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20.1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade and deal flow between Africa, China and select emerging markets.
For further information, go to http://www.standardbank.com
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.