Speaking at an Investor Breakfast convened in Lilongwe on Monday, chief executive Phillip Madinga highlighted the key strategic priorities which the bank will focus on to provide value to shareholders and stakeholders alike.
During the event the bank unveiled strategic priorities that include new product initiatives and risk management initiatives.
“We are positioned now to help the economy recover from the effects of the global pandemic. We should remain close to our customers and communities and create value around crucial sectors such as Agriculture, Health, Education and the job market,” he said.
Madinga noted that the realities around Covid-19 pandemic should inform financial institutions to find new ways of doing business if the economy is to be back on track as desired.
“As a future-ready bank, we cannot continue to operate as a traditional bank. The pandemic has taught us to do things differently such as working remotely and introducing new offerings specifically as a direct response to effects of the pandemic. We are therefore investing heavily in new technologies to ably manage this transition,”
Some key areas the bank is investing in are Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Machine Learning. These aspects, the bank believes, will determine the future of banking.
In relation to these investments, Madinga disclosed that Standard Bank will soon launch a new platform called Unayo to maximize on existing markets and tap into latent ones especially in rural areas where people are largely unbanked. The incoming platform will be a digital mall that will connect customers to merchants of all kinds and enable efficient financial transactions within the ecosystem.
The chief executive observed that Unayo will tap into a huge market that has also been left out by fintech players including banks and mobile network operators.
“There is huge potential when you look at how the country’s nine banks only has a combined customer base of 2.1 million while the two leading mobile network operators have over 7 million subscribers. This tells you the future of banking a majority of 18 million citizens in in new banking technologies.”
Commenting on the event, Emmanuel Chokani of Bridgepath Capital commended Standard Bank for taking a bold step to convene such a meeting with investors.
“From this interaction one can easily notice that the bank is really geared for growth. Their intention to move into the unbanked landscape with their Unayo product means many unbanked Malawians will move into the formal sector. All the bank needs to do now is focus on areas they can easily influence in light of the dynamic environment we operate in,” said Chokani.
Standard Bank is expected to hold a similar event shortly in Blantyre.