How Standard Bank Group Is Driving Africa’s Tech-Enabled Growth


Transform Innovate 2 min

Standard Bank Group is the largest bank on the African continent. 

The bank has assets of more than ZAR 2 trillion and earnings of ZAR 28 billion in 2019. Standard Bank employs 50,000 staff and has an on-the-ground presence in 20 sub-Saharan countries.   

Their strategic priorities are transforming client experience, executing with excellence and driving Africa’s sustainable growth.   

As Group Financial Director of Standard Bank Group, Arno Daehnke optimises operating expenditure and metrics for success.   

At CFO Edge, Arno shares how Standard Bank is taking advantage of the increasing digitisation of African transactions by innovating mobile products, leveraging home solar power systems, and shifting workloads to the cloud. 

To unlock the full keynote video and access an entire catalogue of ADAPT’s expert presentations, localised research, case studies, downloadable data and community interviews, speak with a Senior Research Consultant today

 

Transcription: 

I’m very excited. I wouldn’t want to be on any other continent. Think about the trends in Africa, the demographic population growth, the transition from a relatively poor continent into a much wealthier continent gradually, but accelerating. wealthier continent gradually, but accelerating.  

Think about insurance products and savings products, which are entirely underrepresented under-penetrated the markets and wealth management products, wealth preservation products. 

It gives us an excellent opportunity to deliver to our shareholders 

Our employees are so passionate about working for Standard Bank, and when they hear about our purpose: Africa is our home. We drive her growth.”  

They want to work for the bank because they see that being a real meaning to their life of driving a continent’s growth and most prominent bank in Africa. 

Of course, we are doing that critical. The other question you asked about is leapfrogging technology. That’s super interesting.  

You would find if you can go and visit the markets as I have done, I’ve been to markets in Kenya. I’ve been to slums in Kenya in impoverished areas. Everyone has got a cell phone—impoverished areas. Everyone has got a cell phone.  

Many of them are cheaper smartphones, and some of them are what we call USD-enabled. You can punch in a code, and you can transact on these phones. Societies are essentially going cashless. 

In countries like Kenya, specifically with a provider called M-Pesa, you can transact over the phone. It’s very advanced in that respect.

Moreso, certainly than I’ve seen in Europe, where branches are still pretty much how you deal with transactions.  

More than 95% of our transactions in Africa regions are all through digital channels.”  

This whole thing has leapfrogged, certainly landlines and many other technological innovations and the cell phone penetration levels are very deep.  

That is a great opportunity for us to provide innovative products on the cell phone.  

It’s not just that, if you think about energy, for example, in Africa. That also is leapfrogging traditional technology, and there is establishment increasingly so of microgrids. 

Instead of having large power stations and porting the electricity through towers over thousands of kilometres, you start generating these microgrids.

We are working with a company again in Kenya called M-KOPA, which provides such exciting solutions for energy at home, right through solar power.”

If any one of your colleagues can Google in M-KOPA, it’s one of the most exciting companies I know anywhere globally.  

They have transformed ownership of solar power very cost-effectively. People can have the ability at home to power their lights and the fridges and the computers and the cell phone chargers, importantly. They have transformed ownership of solar power, very cost-effectively such that people can have power at home to power their lights and the fridges and the computers and the cell phone chargers, importantly. 

To unlock the full keynote video and access an entire catalogue of ADAPT’s expert presentations, localised research, case studies, downloadable data and community interviews, speak with a Senior Research Consultant today

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