IN BUSINESS WITH…
Bino Rasedisa, Standard Chartered Botswana Head of Retail Banking
This week we sit down with Bino Rasedisa, who has been with Standard Chartered Bank since 2012, to discuss Digital Transformation. In the 12 years that Rasedisa has been with StanChart, he has held numerous positions in the CEO’s office, including Corporate Banking and Transaction Banking. He was based in Dubai in 2017, first with the Africa & Middle-East Regional CEO’s office and then the Africa & Middle-East Regional Retail Banking team. Staff Writer LAME MODISE spoke with him.
Q: What is digital transformation with regards to banking?
A: Digital transformation is the very exciting systematic enhancement and migration of traditional banking channels to digital platforms, leveraging the very best in innovation, security and multi-platform integration.
Q: Why is digital transformation important in the banking sector?
A: The traditional way of banking has required time from our clients. One needed to visit a branch in a set location on a certain day at a specified time, carry documents on them and maybe even move from one end of town to another to complete tasks. Digital transformation shifts the power of time back to our clients and introduces convenience. Our clients can bank on their own terms and at their own time without ever needing to fill out a piece of paper. For banking this means that we are able to offer our clients a more personalised banking experience. It also means that as our platforms perpetually evolve, we are offering greater enhancements, integration and products in a much shorter time regardless of where in the country they are based. The model is designed to give the client control, ease of access and options.
Q: How is the Standard Chartered Bank getting on in terms of jumping onto the digital transformation band wagon?
A: Standard Chartered has proudly been a bank of firsts in Botswana, and digital transformation is no different. We were recently recognized with an award as Botswana’s “Best Consumer Digital Bank” for the seventh year running by Global Finance in recognition of the continued strides we are making in this space. We launched the first “Digital Only Bank” in Botswana, meaning to start the client journey, our clients need never walk into a branch to open bank accounts and access services. Moreover, our digital platforms are standard across our network, which means that here in Botswana, our clients are using the latest innovations and the highest security standards for the most dynamic user experience.
Q: What are some of the moves that the bank has taken to play within the digital transformation space?
A: In mid-2019, we launched our greatest leap in digital transformation with our SC Mobile App. The award-winning banking app put over 70 banking services that traditionally required one to visit a branch into a phone. It is the only banking platform in the country where a client with no relationship with Standard Chartered can open an account in just 15 minutes on their own time, including in places where we have no physical presence. Earlier this month, we introduced our Express Banking Centres (EBCs), the latest in banking distribution channels acting as a hybrid to traditional and digital banking, accessible 24 hours a day.
Q: There is constant talk of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). Kindly share your perspective of this and the changes that this present to traditional forms of banking?
A: 4IR will be a broader and deeper integration of digital platforms in our day-to-day lives. It will involve machine learning and leverage artificial intelligence to understand our needs and behavioural patterns to offer us tailored solutions. Our physical locations, distances from each other and time of day will not determine our ability to carry on with the needs and wants of our day. Key to this will be how our different platforms speak to each other to provide seamless services to our clients. Our digital platforms were designed from the start with 4IR in mind. A great example of this is the conversation that our platforms have with mobile networks and their mobile wallets. Our clients are able to move funds from our banking platform to a mobile wallet and vice versa, in real time. As we go forward, our platform will showcase even more of this cross-platform communication where it makes sense and can be done safely and securely to add benefit to our clients.
Q: There has always been a call for private partnerships with local citizen entrepreneurs, especially in the innovation space. Is your bank engaging local companies or entrepreneurs to bridge the digital divide?
A: We are constantly in conversation with local entities to see where we can find mutual benefit of integrating on behalf of our clients. Our digital transformation has also provided an opportunity for us to identify synergies along the value chain that ultimately could become part of a broader digital ecosystem of which the bank is a central part and seamlessly integrates with.
Q: Kindly explain the challenges encountered while trying to achieve the bank’s digital transformation and how they were countered?
A: As with any major transformation, it takes some time for a new way of doing things to take hold. The speed with which the shift happens is dependent on a lot of factors such as access, the cost of data or the number of active digital platforms. Trust in digital platforms from a security standpoint is another key consideration for a market. Our Express Banking Centres, for example, will offer free access to the Internet as a solution to ensure that our clients can access their digital platforms. In addition, we have a role to play in helping our partners bring their own systems online as we seek to integrate with them, sharing best practice and experience. That time is very near.
Q: Where does this put the ‘belief’ that Standard Chartered Bank may be lagging behind in adopting innovative service provision models, especially in the digital space?
A: The belief is misplaced. We have been awarded the Best Consumer Digital Bank in Botswana for the seventh year in a row. This is an international accolade judged against strong competition. Our platforms offer unique services such as end-to-end account opening anywhere in the country. In just over a year, the product offering and service options available through our digital platforms have grown significantly and our clients are utilising it all. In 2021, there is even more that we will be unpacking. It is truly exciting.