The latest engagement statistics for Standard Bank’s mobile banking app show that customers are becoming increasingly more comfortable engaging digitally for more than just basic banking.

Standard Bank reports that there have been more than 1,2-million unique customers of the app’s Explore and Help centres since September 2020. This amounts to 2-million views and more than 5 600 visitors a day.

The Help Centre is an interactive knowledge and self-help platform available on the Standard Bank App for existing customers and consumers who have not necessarily registered.

The bank’s data shows that 157 000 customers used the centre’s help cards, which contain 95 how to guides, 15 videos and 400 FAQs, and 66 000 searched a topic for help options, to learn about a feature of a service.

“This shows that our customers are willing to utilise help capabilities in a self-service manner and leverage the available videos and guidance offered to improve their financial lives,” says Andrew van der Hoven, Standard Bank’s ‚Äéhead of digital, e-commerce and voice. “The app is utilised across 12 different countries and we are seeing growth in this type of engagement in Ghana, Namibia and Uganda to name a few.”

The increase in digital engagement other than basic banking transactions demonstrates the improved confidence that customers have in digital platforms, but also that these interactions can help access services and products in a more personal and unique manner.

Standard Bank also released figures for its Explore Centre which helps customers find and explore different financial products to meet their needs on the app. In the nine weeks since launch the centre has had more than 166 000 visitors in South Africa.

“The nature of interactions is changing – in the past, banking was a very physical experience and, while transactions and basic banking has moved online, more personal interactions typically remained very much in a branch or voice environment. What we are now seeing is a move towards searching digitally for products and services, reaching out to communities to check reviews, and then buying online in many cases,” Van der Hoven says.

As an example, Van der Hoven pointed to the fact that over 55% of new lending products are applied for and taken up using digital platforms.

While convenience is a strong motivator for customers to use digital platforms, they have other benefits that are much harder to replicate physically such as the ability to compare, assess and choose the right option for them.