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Standard Bank app pushes R430bn

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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Veeam passes $1bn, prepares for cloud’s ‘Act II’

Leader in cloud-data management reveals how it will harness the next growth phase of the data revolution, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

Veeam Software, the quiet leader in backup solutions for cloud data management,has announced that it has passed $1-billion in revenues, and is preparing for the next phase of sustained growth in the sector.

Now, it is unveiling what it calls Act II, following five years of rapid growth through modernisation of the data centre. At the VeeamON 2019conferencein Miami this week, company co-founder Ratmir Timashev declared that the opportunities in this new era, focused on managing data for the hybrid cloud, would drive the next phase of growth.

“Veeam created the VMware backup market and has dominated it as the leader for the last decade,” said Timashev, who is also executive vice president for sales and marketing at the organisation. “This was Veeam’s Act I and I am delighted that we have surpassed the $1 billion mark; in 2013 I predicted we’d achieve this in less than six years. 

“However, the market is now changing. Backup is still critical, but customers are now building hybrid clouds with AWS, Azure, IBM and Google, and they need more than just backup. To succeed in this changing environment, Veeam has had to adapt. Veeam, with its 60,000-plus channel and service provider partners and the broadest ecosystem of technology partners, including Cisco, HPE, NetApp, Nutanix and Pure Storage, is best positioned to dominate the new cloud data management in our Act II.”

In South Africa, Veeam expects similar growth. Speaking at the Cisco Connect conference in Sun City this week, country manager Kate Mollett told Gadget’s BRYAN TURNER that the company was doing exceptionally well in this market.

“In financial year 2018, we saw double-digit growth, which was really very encouraging if you consider the state of the economy, and not so much customer sentiment, but customers have been more cautious with how they spend their money. We’ve seen a fluctuation in the currency, so we see customers pausing with big decisions and hoping for a recovery in the Rand-Dollar. But despite all of the negatives, we have double digit growth which is really good. We continue to grow our team and hire.

“From a Veeam perspective, last year we were responsible for Veeam Africa South, which consisted of South Africa, SADC countries, and the Indian Ocean Islands. We’ve now been given the responsibility for the whole of Africa. This is really fantastic because we are now able to drive a single strategy for Africa from South Africa.”

Veeam has been the leading provider of backup, recovery and replication solutions for more than a decade, and is growing rapidly at a time when other players in the backup market are struggling to innovate on demand.

“Backup is not sexy and they made a pretty successful company out of something that others seem to be screwing up,” said Roy Illsley, Distinguished Analyst at Ovum, speaking in Miami after the VeeamOn conference. “Others have not invested much in new products and they don’t solve key challenges that most organisations want solved. Theyre resting on their laurels and are stuck in the physical world of backup instead of embracing the cloud.”

Illsley readily buys into the Veeam tagline. “It just works”. 

“They are very good at marketing but are also a good engineering comany that does produce the goods. Their big strength, that it just works, is a reliable feature they have built into their product portfolio.”

Veeam said in statement from the event that, while it had initially focused on server virtualisation for VMware environments, in recent years it had expanded this core offering. It was now delivering integration with multiple hypervisors, physical servers and endpoints, along with public and software-as-a-service workloads, while partnering with leading cloud, storage, server, hyperconverged (HCI) and application vendors.

This week, it  announced a new “with Veeam”program, which brings in enterprise storage and hyperconverged (HCI) vendors to provide customers with comprehensive secondary storage solutions that combine Veeam software with industry-leading infrastructure systems. Companies like ExaGrid and Nutanix have already announced partnerships.

Timashev said: “From day one, we have focused on partnerships to deliver customer value. Working with our storage and cloud partners, we are delivering choice, flexibility and value to customers of all sizes.”

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‘Energy scavenging’ funded

As the drive towards a 5G future gathers momentum, the University of Surrey’s research into technology that could power countless internet enabled devices – including those needed for autonomous cars – has won over £1M from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and industry partners.

Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) has been working on triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG), an energy harvesting technology capable of ‘scavenging’ energy from movements such as human motion, machine vibration, wind and vehicle movements to power small electronic components. 

TENG energy harvesting is based on a combination of electrostatic charging and electrostatic induction, providing high output, peak efficiency and low-cost solutions for small scale electronic devices. It’s thought such devices will be vital for the smart sensors needed to enable driverless cars to work safely, wearable electronics, health sensors in ‘smart hospitals’ and robotics in ‘smart factories.’ 

The ATI will be partnered on this development project with the Georgia Institute of Technology, QinetiQ, MAS Holdings, National Physical Laboratory, Soochow University and Jaguar Land Rover. 

Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the ATI and the principal investigator of the TENG project, said: “TENG technology is ideal to power the next generation of electronic devices due to its small footprint and capacity to integrate into systems we use every day. Here at the ATI, we are constantly looking to develop such advanced technologies leading towards our quest to realise worldwide “free energy”.

“TENGs are an ideal candidate to power the autonomous electronic systems for Internet of Things applications and wearable electronic devices. We believe this research grant will allow us to further the design of optimized energy harvesters.”

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