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Covid-19 Offers Stern Test To Digital Banking—Standard Bank

Digital banking will continue to make an impact- Mughogho

Despite causing disruption to the socio-economic order globally, the Coronavirus Disease offers a real test of digital banking capabilities in Malawi, a senior Standard Bank executive has said.

Charity Mughogho, who is the bank’s Head of Personal Markets said in a discussion posted live on Standard Bank Malawi’s official Facebook page that COVID-19 while being a wake-up call, had come at a time when the bank’s digital capabilities had improved tremendously.

She said Standard Bank is ready to serve its customers virtually, including offering digital loans at the touch of a finger on their smartphone or computer screen during the current period of social contact limitations and possible lock-out due to COVID-19.

“Covid-19 has really tested how robust our banking industry is. For Standard Bank, our digital services have helped us fast adapt to the reality of the pandemic and still allow customers to continue managing their daily personal and business endeavors,” she said.

The Personal Markets Head predicted that COVID-19 will influence a deepening of the digital financial inclusiveness culture by both consumers and service providers.

“It is our expectation that even after the pandemic passes, digital banking will continue to make an impact on livelihoods locally and across the globe.

Standard Bank therefore promises to continue innovating to ensure that our digital products and services are adequately cover customers’ needs,” she said.

Mughogho said currently about 90 percent of Standard Bank’s transactions and operations have been successfully put online to allow seamless contactless operations from anywhere at any time.

Key products and services available include 247 On-Line (Business Online, Enterprise Online and Internet Banking), Digital Loans, and the bank’s own SmartApp.

Others are Mobile Banking (USSD) and Quickash, a voucher redemption system that allows customers and non-customers alike to withdraw money from the bank’s ATM without a card.

Mughogho also pointed at the youth as an important demographic that will increase financial inclusion through digital banking. More than half the country’s population are the youths.

“Since 2017 we have seen a surge in young people opening accounts with Standard Bank and immediately taking up our digital channels hence reversing the order towards digital banking.

So far, around 80% our transactions are from digital channels and this could be the reason many young people are opting for us,” she said.

For traditional banking in the face of Covid-19, Mughogho says the bank has deployed adequate preventive measures such as introducing a complete open-door policy to minimize the touching surfaces by staff and customers, placing hygienic essentials such as hand sanitizers in strategic places and increasing frequency of cleaning the premises.

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