Standard Bank is increasing its online banking penetration in Africa, introduing it to five other countries in the continent over the next two months, and another four by year-end.
“Over the next two months we will introduce banking for our customers in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Zimbabwe and later in the year we expect to get internet banking going in Mauritius, Zambia, and Ghana as part of broadening our basket of self-service offerings to our customers on the African continent,” says Marius Wait, director: personal business banking at Standard Bank Africa.
Standard Bank currently has Internet Banking in Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana.
Within South Africa, Standard Bank has over 600,000 customers using its internet banking facilities to conduct various business and private banking transactions.
“As in many markets, internet banking started fairly slowly in South Africa, but after growing between 20- to 30% a year over the past five years, it has gained solid momentum and is now firmly established as a very important channel for bank customers,” adds Wait, who estimated the total number of online bankers in South Africa at between two and 2,5-million.
Significantly, Wait estimates that transactional growth rates in value and volumes have been between 10% and 15% higher than user growth rates, illustrating just how important a tool online banking has become.
With the total number of individuals with internet access estimated to be around four million and growing, he believes there is still room for substantial growth in the local online banking market.
As for Africa, he believes the growth potential is enormous as it is coming off a very low base amid strong economic performances across the continent driving the need for individuals and businesses to have access to state-of-the-art online banking facilities and capabilities.
Standard Bank says it will make use of its one time password (OTP) security service to ensure that its customers elsewhere in Africa can rely on the same levels of internet security enjoyed by customers in South Africa.
The one time password facility makes use of two-factor authentication, whereby the delivery of a second password occurs independently of the internet banking session a client uses.
The second password is system generated and is delivered to the client’s cell phone (using SMS technology) or email address.