The financial services sector continues to welcome new entrants, increasing competition for the more traditional banking institutions, including older, more established players like Standard Bank.
The Journey so far….
Founded in 1862, Standard Bank prides itself as a top industry player in South Africa with longstanding interests across Africa. Reports for the first half of 2018 showed active customer strength of 11.8 million across Africa, with over 68% of that number in South Africa alone. As the world gravitates to a more platform-based business model, Standard Bank Group has been taking steps to offer nimble mobile banking solutions that customers can operate by themselves.
2019 was pivotal to the digitisation agenda of Standard Bank. She contracted Amazon Web Services in March, to facilitate migration to the cloud alongside the launch of an AWS Cloud Centre of Excellence. As part of the deal, AWS was going to equip employees with training programmes that came with certification. They went further to revamp corporate functions on the roadmap to digital transformation in its bid to stay ahead of the competition.
Signing an accord with Microsoft in April of 2019 expanded their already fruitful relationship, upgrading their finance, treasury, and productivity functions with cloud services. This meant migrating their SAP S/4HANA modules and SAP Enterprise Resource Planning to Microsoft Azure allowing Standard Bank to offer a new and improved customer experience.
More than a hundred of its branches were shut down as the bank rolled out its remote banking strategy, partnering with iiDENTIFii in October of 2019. The tech company, based in CapeTown, added remote onboarding for digital biometric authentication to the Bank’s list of capabilities.
The deal with Salesforce
In June 2020, Standard Bank signed a contract that sees Salesforce take responsibility for running her Digital Platform which in effect allows Salesforce to be the oil in the wheels of her operational ecosystem. Existing deals with AWS and Microsoft Azure were vital on the path to signing a deal with the software solutions’ giants.
CEO of Standard Bank Group, Sim Tshabalala in an interview said the deal with Salesforce is the first of many more to come and it shows their resolve to give customers as much freedom as they create customer-centred products and services. He stated thus: “Our extended agreement with Salesforce is a major step towards transforming the Standard Bank Group into a client-centred platform business that delivers a range of individualised, instantly available solutions, services and opportunities, enabled by modern digital technologies and delivered in whatever way a client prefers. Our goal is to use our data capabilities to build deeper, better and more enduring relationships with our clients.”
“With the Salesforce Customer 360 platform, Standard Bank will be able to build a single source of truth across the entire customer journey and respond quickly to changing customer needs” opines Gavin Patterson who doubles as Salesforce’s President and Chief Revenue Officer. He goes further to say: “Recent events have accelerated the digital transformation of all aspects of our society and a digital customer strategy is now imperative to the very survival of a business.”
One can see that Standard Bank Group has no plans to be left behind in the world of digital banking. By signing this agreement, they have bolstered their switch from a primarily offline-focused business model to a digitally run platform. Clientele can be assured of a more customer-centred approach based on data that will deliver products and services that will transform the business ecosystem.
Tshabalala had this to say: “In order to defend our markets and to grow new ones, we have to become a platform provider. And to do that, we have partnered with Salesforce, and also with Microsoft and AWS.”
“We don’t want to be the shop; we want to be the mall. We want to provide both our own services and the services of our partners in the Standard Bank Group ecosystem.”
Upgrading to cloud services has saved Standard Bank Group millions in the cost of product creation and dissemination, and with this changeover to a platform-based business model, the bank stays ahead of the competition, moving into the future of financial services whilst maintaining a long, rich history of driving business growth in Africa. Clients can now come on board the platform and create products and services that suit their businesses.