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Standard Bank app pushes R430bn

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Standard Bank has revealed that during 2015 825 million financial transactions worth R430 billion were processed through its banking app resulting in a sharp decline in ATM and branch transactions.

Standard Bank has revealed that during 2015 825 million financial transactions worth R430 billion were processed through its banking app. As a consequence of this, branch transactional volumes have declined and ATM and branch transactions now make up less than 5% of total banking transactions. This means 95% of Standard Bank’s transactions are already electronic.

“The vast bulk of Standard Bank’s Personal & Business Banking strategy to 2020 is about how we can use digital capabilities to deliver an even better customer experience,” says Peter Schlebusch, Standard Bank’s chief executive for personal and business banking. “This entails putting customers in control, providing more convenience, and extracting key customer insights from our rich data so that the bank becomes more proactive, relevant and easy to use.”

Schlebusch says Standard Bank has invested heavily in IT infrastructure to ensure that the bank has a single view of the customer, and the customer has a single instant view of their complete banking services regardless of geography, product or customer segment. The app includes the ability to open accounts online, move money across borders quickly and easily, trade shares internationally on 29 stock exchanges and even lodge homeowner insurance claims off a single mobile device.

The move to mobile has been enthusiastically received by customers:

·         Most customers now bank outside of traditional banking hours. A high peak hour is between 8:00am and 09:00am

·         The total number of unique Standard Bank universal banking IDs created to date is more than 600 000

·         Over R5.7 billion in value has been traded on Standard Bank’s Online Share Trading App to date

·         Over 22 000 merchants and more than 200 000 customers have signed up for SnapScan

·         InstantMoney has processed more than R7.5 billion in money transfers and remittances

The bank is upgrading its entire core banking systems in an effort to meet the continually changing behaviour of customers. The fully functional new core banking platform in South Africa is processing substantial volumes, with approximately 570 million transactions processed in 2015, 27% more than in 2014. Across the rest of Africa the bank already has 73% of Personal & Business Banking customers on its new core banking system.

Standard Bank says it will continue to leverage off increased smartphone penetration. In Africa, the Internet is being predominantly accessed by the smart mobile device, for example, in South Africa, 60% of all Internet page views are on a smartphone.

Standard Bank also says it continues to enhance its integrated universal banking app, which allows personal, business and high net worth customers to view and transact with a single digital ID across multiple geographies, including South Africa, Ghana, Namibia, Botswana, Uganda and Standard Bank Offshore, with additional launches in the countries in which Standard Bank operates expected in the coming months.

“We are committed to Africa and proudly call the continent our home. Africa loves mobile. This is why we are so excited about how technology and data is allowing us to get even closer to our customers. We are steadfast on a strategy of tapping into the increasing use of technology, like smartphones, tablets and wearables, across the continent to become a truly integrated internet-based financial services business,” says Schlebusch.

As innovative solutions for an increasingly mobile, tech savvy and cost conscious client base continue to be harnessed, the bank’s vision is clear: To become a digital leader in Africa.

“Our aim is to be always on and always connected, while providing biometric authentication and extensive use of data analytics to personalise the customer experience to a far larger degree,” says Schlebusch.

To succeed in this, Standard Bank has placed the customer at the heart of the bank’s digital strategy, with a remarkable list of first to market innovations to date. These include:

·         The single digital ID across multiple countries

·         Biometric identification for mobile banking

·         An app enabling clients to trade across 29 different stock exchanges off their mobile device

·         24/7 Banking instant messaging service for Private & Prestige customers via WeChat – with further developments imminent

·         A card console to remotely turn cards on and off, and control the countries and the time when the card may be used

·         Snapscan, which enables mobile phone payments using QR codes or iBeacons regardless of where customers bank

An additional first in the pipeline is the first-of-its kind Kidz Banking App, which is a game-like, vividly animated banking app designed primarily for children aged 6-11 years. Just in time for Savings Month 2016, the app was developed with youth education and the improvement of the culture of saving in mind.  It will be linked to a parent’s Standard Bank smartphone app, and features colourful characters – themed on South Africa’s Big 5 – that assist parents in guiding children on money management concepts such as earning, saving and responsible spending.

The customer experience in the future will be worlds apart from what it was just a few years ago. Where customers pressed ten buttons before to conduct a simple banking transaction, the intelligence of the future will better understand and anticipate their behaviour in advance and only one click will be needed to set in motion multiple responses and outcomes. These future digital capabilities will not only be more convenient and engaging for customers, but can also be expected to reduce costs.

“The cost of banking has halved in real terms in the last decade and a lot of it is because of the powerful and comprehensive digital platforms we have provided,” says Schlebusch. “This trend will continue as more consumers utilise digital channels in the future.”

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Huawei goes ultra-premium

Porsche Design and Huawei have launched the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS in South Africa exclusive to MTN and retailing for R 26 459.

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The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS boasts features like the world’s first dual fingerprint design, including an in-screen fingerprint sensor, the world’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) processor and Leica triple camera with 40MP image capture.

“After the overwhelming success of the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 Pro in South Africa, we now bring you our latest offering, a perfect blend of innovation in a smartphone and luxury design,” said Likun Zhao, Vice President of Huawei Consumer Business Group Southern Africa. “From three-point security feature including facial recognition, rear fingerprint scanner and the new innovative in-screen fingerprint to the Leica triple camera system. it culminates in an unprecedented experience for our customers.”

The device incorporates Porsche Design’s signature design language and Huawei’s breakthrough technology.  The phone has a 6” 2K curved OLED screen and symmetrical look, minimalist feel and 8-edged 3D curved glass body.

High performance is symbolised by the naming of the smartphone: the term “RS” in the world of Porsche motorsport stands for outstanding racing performance.

Huawei provided the following information on The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS benefits and features :

·         The world’s first dual fingerprint scanner for enhanced convenience, allowing users to wake and unlock the device simply, thanks to an in-screen fingerprint sensor. Hover to wake the device, touch to unlock it

·         The winning combination of Leica triple camera with 40MP RGB sensor technology and exceptional photography powered by Master AI. This combination puts effortless, eye-catching photography at the fingertips of those looking to immortalise their favourite moments. Combined with 5 x hybrid zoom, and the world’s first AI image stabilisation on a smartphone camera ensures photography lovers can capture the best shots with exceptional clarity in almost any situation

·         The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS is the first Huawei handset to allow quick wireless charging, making it even easier to keep the phone topped up and ready to go and, thanks to its long lasting battery, users will easily be powered through the busiest of days

·         An ‘intelligent’ smartphone, the powerful AI processor automatically tailors the performance of the phone according to how it is used – constantly learning, understanding and anticipating needs, it is the perfect personal assistant for the pocket

·         256GB of internal storage means those constantly on the go and constantly on their phone can be worry free

·         Dual SLS (super linear system) speakers with DOLBY ATMOS enable users to have a superior experience, with the best immersive surround sound and entertainment on the go

·         Splash, water and dust resistant, which means there is no need to worry about damaging the device in the rain or accidentally dropping it in water

Jan Becker, CEO Porsche Design Group, said: “Both Porsche Design and Huawei seek to imagine and develop products that stand for precision and perfection, intelligent functionality and highly sophisticated design. Our aim was to create an outstanding device that goes one step further. We believe we have reached this goal by taking our partnership to the next level.”

Porsche Design and Huawei have worked in tandem to develop a smartphone that fuses together the two brands’ DNA, wealth of experience in design and technology, industry-leading expertise and exceptional performance. Through the use of colour in the device’s body, software themes and accessories, the new handset is accentuated with Porsche Design’s distinguished aesthetic and purist, minimalist feel.

The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS will be available to purchase exclusively from MTN at R 26 459.

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Cross-channel chat launched

Clickatell has launched a cross-channel live chat service, Touch Go, that transforms omni-channel customer care.

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It enables live chat across a company’s website as well as social platforms (Twitter and Facebook) and mobile apps, bringing customer care and engagement into a single business platform.

“Today’s consumers expect to engage with your brand on the digital channel of their choosing,” says Deon van Heerden, Clickatell Engage CEO and Group CFO. “They want to message your business and instantly have queries resolved, find the information and services they are looking for, without the need for a voice call. Clickatell’s Touch Go makes that happen with the right level of capabilities for businesses of all sizes.”

Businesses can start using Touch Go immediately, with a free Starter option. Touch Go requires no credit card for sign-up and is fully featured with a simple setup process. It offers customisable branding, a unified chat desk business application as well as reports and analytics.

As the business scales up its digital customer care, it can opt-in for the Touch Enterprise offering. Touch Enterprise is designed for scaling up customer care efforts through advanced capabilities including AI driven virtual agents, sentiment analysis, automated workflows, enterprise integrations and in-channel mini-applications.

“Customer care has become a defining factor for sustained business success ” says Nirmal Nair, Clickatell Engage EVP Product & Marketing. “In an ever-increasing mobile native world, customers often choose to interact digitally, but they also expect to be able to reach a human immediately, should they need. Monitoring multiple channels and providing immediate action becomes challenging with siloed deployments. Touch’s unified solution allows businesses of all sizes to provide the customer delight in a simple modular approach.”

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