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So the banking industry was changing … and then

Banking has been around for thousands of years, but generational changes, behavioral changes, and the digital revolution have changed the industry a bit and changed the way customers view the banking “relationships”.

This was followed by a global shutdown with COVID-19, accelerating the already rapid changes that were taking place in the financial services sector. Important among these changes was a digital solution that sought to meet the urgent consumer needs of the COVID-19 environment.

Even before COVID-19, more than 90% of South African Standard Bank’s customer transactions are conducted using digital channels, and by 2019 more than 20 billion Rands will be processed through South African Standard Bank’s instant money transfer service. Consider that it was done.

Many months ago, we had a long-distance relationship with a bank. We visit the actual branch office once or twice a month to check deposits and balances. If you fast forward to today, the situation is very different. Today, most of us work from home, so bank interactions are overwhelmingly digital and always on. Going to a physical branch is a last resort for most banking customers.

Insatiable appetite Bank app South Africa and other parts of the continent are accelerating as more and more customers prefer digital over physical spikes due to blockades. This is due to the increased penetration of smartphones and the demand for simplicity and convenience on the continent. Now you can “take” a bank anywhere in an easy and safe way.

There are also tools that allow you to travel money across borders and countries. This is especially important as families are separated because international travel bans are still in place. The ability to invest abroad is democratized and can be done through digital platforms. It is no longer available only to the wealthy customers of international banks.

Prior to the lockdown, as more millennials entered the working population, banks realized that services needed to be tailored to meet the needs of individuals familiar with these technologies. By meeting the needs of this generation, we are now ready to meet the demands placed on banks during the COVID-19 pandemic and can pivot when needed.

Millennials are accustomed to apps that they can use for their daily activities, from ordering food to moving from one place to another. Banks are taking a constant approach to increasing spending on technology, enabling innovation and development of solutions that affect this demographic. This has spurred entrepreneurial activity in the financial technology sector, where innovative digital solutions are being developed to maintain unprecedented levels of efficiency.

For example, the days of carrying cash are gone, and thanks to sophisticated digital payment technology, you can now buy in seconds. All you need to do is tap the screen once with your physical card or mobile phone and you’re ready to go. The time-saving benefits of Tap and Pay technology make sense that this new payment method has been significantly adopted.

The traditional model of banking has turned its head over. Online banks with low overhead costs can provide affordable banking services to those who were previously excluded from formal banking services.

However, it is mobile money that has been particularly successful in bringing transaction banking capabilities to people who do not have a bank account. The introduction of electronic money services has made it possible to transfer money across borders faster and cheaper than cash and bank deposits. Mobile money dominates Kenya, with 90% of Kenyans over the age of 14 trading through Safaricom’s M-Pesa.

Previously, rural Kenyan farmers were exposed to long distances to access their nearest banking institutions. Journeys to institutions while carrying large amounts of cash will also be characterized by uncertainty and risk. M-Pesa allows farmers to safely store and transfer money without physically leaving the farm.

COVID-19 represents a new and unique challenge for banks, but the rapid evolution and adoption of digital technology offers the opportunity to provide financial services at a much lower cost and ultimately facilitates financial inclusion. , Improves economic productivity.

Thinking leadership piece

Kabelo Makeke Head, Consumers and HNWI Clients Standard Bank South Africa

Main image: Standard Bank

So the banking industry was changing … and then

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