Mr. Lamin Manjang is the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited, where he supports the execution of Standard Chartered Group’s strategic intent in Nigeria. He represents the bank on various boards in Africa as well as leading as a senior banker on key relationships.
During the launch of Standard Chartered digital bank in Nigeria recently, Manjang spoke on the bank’s objectives of coming up with the initiative and other issues that concern the bank. Excerpts:
A true digital bank is one that serves its clients without them ever needing to come to the branch, if they don’t want to, not even to open an account. It means giving clients the choice to do everything digitally from their mobile phone, if they want, but they can also get help via phone, chat, a video link when they want more advice for a big financial decision. We aim to be digital, with a human touch.
A digital bank relies on mobile and online technology advancements to provide a convenient, end-to-end digital banking service.
At Standard Chartered, client data security is our priority. The Standard Chartered Mobile app is secured by our bank’s online award-winning security system protocols. Also, in face of growing cybersecurity, external threats, our staff training is our key differentiator.
Insights and strategy
Clients want to be able to bank digitally so we’re responding to client needs: Retail Clients are increasingly demanding quick, simple and easy ways of banking. The ubiquitous smart phone with a banking app that allows customers to complete all their transaction (including on-boarding) is a natural outcome and is the solution for the Bank to meet retail client needs. The strategic insight and strategy therefore was really simple – put the client at the center of what we do, solving their needs in a simple easy and convenient fashion.
Our strategy is to build standard global platforms and that gives us a first mover advantage: We were able to pull together our international insights to launch a digital bank that we know will resonate with our clients, across Africa including Nigeria
Standard Chartered digitising in general
We are making our retail banking business fully digital (with a human touch) by 2020. For clients this means empowering them with easy and convenient banking. We do this by designing banking with clients and for clients: It’s all to help them achieve their dreams and ambitions. It is a three pronged strategy: a. Sell-serve’ (clients can do things themselves) and staff assisted channels. b. End-to-end straight through processing C. Online/digital sales .
Competition across different markets
Different markets, different client needs so we must always adapt. However overall our clients tend to be digital savvy, they all expect banking to be at their fingertips- easy and convenient. This is why we’re standardizing our platforms so that we can introduce innovative new technology in any market rapidly at an effective cost.
Contract with Burna Boy
We are excited to have Burna Boy as our brand ambassador for a year. Burna Boy is not only a young legend but also a national icon whose social conscience in improving the lives of many Nigerians and this is aligned with our brand promise Here for Good.
We are unable to provide the granular details of the contract including cost. However, you will be seeing Burna Boy in a series of Marketing Communication and other engagement activities over the next 12 months as part of our Digital Bank campaign.
Global retail banking in Africa in 5 years
We are moving from ‘places where people go to bank’ to ‘brands clients choose for financial transactions’, which means clients will have more choice and banking will be more convenient. The changes in banking are making life better for all of us (staff and clients) less paper, more technology and remote services, more enriching interactions Finally, banks will have a much sharper understanding of clients’ financial behaviour and anticipate future needs to offer tailored products and services.
But digital is not a destination. It is a path to superior client experience.
Your edge compared to FinTechs
We do not consider fintech as competition. In fact we team up with fintechs and test out new technology together to bring cutting edge technology for our clients.
We look at fintechs as a great source of talents, ideas and new technologies, and look forward to working with fintechs in selected areas to benefit our customers. Some areas we are focused on are data, 10T, identity, Al, chat bots, regulatory technology, cybersecurity.
Future for technology in retail banking
It’s all about serving our clients and giving them more convenience and greater choice while keeping their transactions secure.
In the future, clients will decide on how they interface with the bank and day to day routine interactions likely be digital so banks will need to transform from “places where people go to bank”
to “brands that clients prefer to use for financial transactions”
Delivering a seamless and excellent user experience will be what differentiates one bank from another.
We want to be where our clients are. As an international Bank, we can learn and share best practices across our footprint to ensure our clients have the best banking experience possible.
What else are you looking at now?
Analytics will be an increasingly important guide to how we engage with clients. Using analytics, we can make offers to clients that are based on their needs. We can build deeper relationships because we understand our clients better. We are building strong capabilities in this area and we will keep you updated on our next moves when we are ready to announce them.
Future growth plans
It’s really about staying on strategy: focus on serving emerging affluent and affluent clients in core cities and keep investing in technology so we can offer an outstanding banking experience.
Going forward, we will continue to invest in our end-to-end digitisation programme which will bring clients greater convenience, choice and security. We aim to be end-to-end digital by 2020.
We will continue to design and build global, standard, best-in-class products, processes and policies which can be scaled up globally, while allowing for localization.
Local competition coming in from non-banks
Very exciting to be in regions where technological changes happen so quickly. In Africa, we are fortunate to be one of the few major international banks. This means we can bring a lot to those markets and also learn a lot at the same time.
How much is Standard Chartered’s spend on digital?
We don’t announce the breakdown of our individual investments. However, in the last 3-5 years we have invested over USD3 billion in technology. It is really about making banking easy convenient and secure for our clients and we think we’re spending what we need to spend to achieve this.
Will you be letting more people go as you close branches?
We believe digitization is good for all of us. It creates new opportunities for our people in the long run. Becoming digital means that a lot of time-consuming manual processes will be automated
Many on the back-office staff will get training as their roles change and these roles will become more rewarding as paperwork disappears. As our business model changes, we will also slow hiring
as we adjust to new ways of serving clients in a more digital world. With digital, we will move our staff from back office to front line. We want our staff to spend more time with our clients offering advice on their finances and wealth.
Overall branch strategy
Ultimately, it is about serving our clients in the way they want to be served – allowing them to do banking anytime and anywhere, through the channel they prefer. These days, people are looking to do most if not all their banking digitally – they don’t want to have to queue in a bank branch. Whatever they can do at the branch, they should be able to do via mobile or online banking. So, it’s really a reallocation of resources towards digital.
How will protect client data over mobile use?
Standard Chartered constantly monitors the threat landscape and factors evolving threats into its Cyber Security programmes. To stay resilient, we continue to transform our people, technology and processes following the Cyber Security Strategy, which revolve around the pillars of Protect, Enable, Respond and Engage.
Will the increased use of digital channels diminish the role of bankers advising on investments?
In our view, digital capability provides banks with an ability to present multiple options to the clients to seamlessly interact with the bank at a time of his/her convenience. Though current technology platform offers ability to provide sophisticated wealth advisory services, the need for human interface is often sought before deciding on material investment/purchases.