We recognise that while digital channels offer ease of access and more cost-effective solutions for customers, many people still prefer to visit a branch and talk to a bank representative face to face.
The kinds of technological solutions that have made online and mobile banking so convenient, can also be used to improve our services to customers in our branches. We’ve implemented Moby Banker, a technology solution that helps to make branch transactions more efficient, cutting down waiting times and reducing the amount of paperwork required from our customers. This has enabled us to serve customers more quickly and efficiently, while also reducing the risk of human error, by automating certain processes. We’ve implemented Moby Banker in five of our countries of operation, resulting in a 40% reduction in transaction processing time, and 37% improvement in total teller capacity – meaning that a smaller number of tellers can now manage the same volume of transactions in our branches.
A 2018 study conducted by the World Bank on behalf of South Africa’s National Treasury highlighted the extent to which bank customers may find it difficult to access information about different products and fee structures, making it difficult for them to know whether they’re getting value for money and to identify the most appropriate solution for their particular needs.
The report also noted that low-income customers often favour branch transactions and ATM withdrawals, despite these being considerably more expensive than digital transactional channels. Our consumer education initiatives aim to empower our customers to manage their finances more effectively. In South Africa, for example, our WalletWise programme aims to educate people on effective financial management. In Nigeria, we work with students and teachers to educate clients about the products and services available to them, and to raise awareness of sound financial management.
In South Africa,Standard Bank’s WalletWise aims to help people use financial services effectively and affordably, by providing clear and accessible information about financial products and services, and raising awareness of digital platforms and how to use them. The programme targets those with a household income of less than R15 000 per month, and includes content tailored for young people, small enterprises and people without formal bank accounts, with a focus on rural and nonmetro areas. We also provide training for aspirant small businesses on basic business skills, and help struggling businesses to identify pitfalls and find ways around them through coaching. WalletWise raises awareness through edutainment, using print and digital media, social media, radio and television, community outreach, and in-branch training in selected communities. Content is provided in nine of South Africa’s official languages. In 2018, we spent R50.9 million on the programme, and reached approximately 490 000 people.
In 2018, WalletWise provided classroom-based training for small business owners, to empower participants to set up and manage sustainable businesses and create jobs:
aspiring and novice entrepreneurs, on the basic skills and tools needed to start a business in a peri-urban community. Training took place across the country in peri-urban areas.
established SME owners, on how to streamline operations, grow their businesses and boost sustainability, including help with business plans, pricing and basic bookkeeping.
Standard Bank South Africa launched Plugged: Beyond the Conversation in 2018. It’s a platform led by 16- to 25-year-olds who are prominent on social media. It enables discussion, capacity building, networking and action around issues that matter to the youth. During 2018, we engaged with students at six South African universities, running 60-minute Plugged: Beyond the Conversation sessions. The sessions were facilitated by individuals identified as youth influencers, recruited via a radio-based Plug Search campaign, and included participation by Standard Bank representatives. Discussions covered entrepreneurship, financial literacy, financial management and work readiness. Sessions were live-streamed and tweeted to enable broad participation. We also provided booklets providing information on entrepreneurship, starting a business and building wealth.
We work closely with our customers to develop financial solutions that enable them to save, invest, grow their assets and plan for the future. This is important in maintaining generational wealth, as well as growing new wealth and planning for the unexpected.
- We work with our clients to help them save more effectively for their long-term goals, such as educating their children. In South Africa, clients have invested R390 million in 57 000 tax free investment accounts and over R410 million in 14 000 auto share investment accounts.
- Our online share trading business hosted 86 education sessions, reaching 13 080 people in South Africa, to promote investment on the stock exchange in 2018. Our online share trading business also participated in She Invest, an event that focuses on inspiring women to become investors and providing financial advice. Our Nigerian asset management business hosted 93 workshops on saving.
- Standard Trust Limited manages over R1.7 billion in trusts for orphaned children, providing much needed monthly distributions to the guardians of these children to fund their basic education and other needs.
- Our insurance business manages 1.1 million funeral policies, 1.5 million credit life policies (which have paid out more than R800 million in claims in 2018), and 130 000 debt protection plan policies.
- Our Wealth and Investment business runs leadership academies for our clients and their families, to support thoughtful, responsible multi-generational wealth management. In 2018, we hosted academies in South Africa, Kenya and the United Kingdom, at which 175 attendees were exposed to the latest thinking on investment principles, banking and lending, financial planning, leadership and philanthropy.
- In Nigeria, our micro-pension scheme targets the 70% of Nigeria’s working population which operates in the informal sector. It aims to improve the standard of living for the elderly, ensure funds are safe, and improve access to mortgage facilities, health insurance and estate planning. The scheme offers flexible contributions, and the opportunity to make withdrawals prior to retirement.