AFRICA – Financial and Banking service provider, Standard Chartered, has launched the second phase of its digital-only retail bank across Africa.

Standard Chartered said that the banking service will be extended in four key markets including Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana  within the first quarter of 2019.

This comes after a successful launch of the first digital retail bank in Côte d’Ivoire (CDI) last year, which the firm said “onboards clients in under 15 minutes and provides 70 of the most common service requests.”

Sunil Kaushal, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Africa and Middle East, said that the launch comes as a reinforcement of the firm’s commitment in providing sustainable banking services.

“The Bank continues to make strategic and sustainable investments in technology – this complements our innovation agenda, as well as enhance our digital offerings and client experiences.

Digitising Africa and facilitating access to financial services remains at the heart of our business strategy for the region,” he added.

According to Standard the platform features enhanced services including QR code and P2P payments, loan and overdraft facilities, and instant fixed deposits offering a convenient and consistent banking experience.

Prof. Emmanuel Mutebile, Governor Central Bank of Uganda, hailed the innovative investment by Standard Bank saying that the model comes as a response to the changing customer needs.

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, however, this disruption to bank business models works in the interest of customers and the general populace,” he added.

Standard has also unveiled plans of launching a marketing campaign to reinforce the rollout of the digital banking service across the four markets.

As part of the rollout strategy, the bank has also unveiled plans of partnering local firms in the retail and shopping, travel and restaurant sectors to beef up its operations.

Africa’s banking market has emerged as the second-fastest-growing and second-most profitable globally.

Financial providers, especially in Africa, have embarked on investments in retail banking sector as the models presents a sustainable response to the low levels of banking penetration and heavy use of cash in the continent.