HARARE – Standard Chartered Bank said on Wednesday it had brought online Zimbabwe’s first complete digital bank, in yet another pioneering innovation for the financial services powerhouse-the first to bring an automated teller machine (ATM) to the southern African.

The launch followed similar developments within the Standard Chartered Bank Plc group, which has rolled out digital banks in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya.

“We are very excited to launch the digital bank in Zimbabwe,” said Standard Chartered Bank chairman, Lovemore Manatsa.

“This is a key milestone in our digital journey as a bank and underlines our commitment to investing and growing in the market. We have been steadily investing in and expanding our digital footprint in Zimbabwe – this will continue to be a priority moving forward. Digitising banking in the country in line with global trends remains at the heart of our business strategy,” he told reporters.

The expansion is part of the bank’s overarching digital transformation strategy for the Zimbabwean market.

It provides clients with access to the mobile-led digital bank platform, which has added benefits such as instant account opening, which is available in local and United States dollar currencies,  zero fee on bill payment, zero monthly ledger, no minimum balance and free initial ATM cards.
Customers will also benefit from over 70 client services.

“Our digital bank was developed with our clients in mind,” said Head of Retail Banking, Valeta Mthimkhulu.

“We have taken into consideration their feedback at each stage of the design process, and have incorporated innovative technology to allow them to execute all banking activities from a mobile phone via the Standard Chartered Bank App – SC Mobile Zimbabwe,” she said.

Mthimkhulu said she was delighted to see the progress that Zimbabwe has made over the past decade as far as digital banking is concerned. “We have seen how digital transformation has contributed to economic development and will continue to do so, in line with the country’s National ICT plan.”

Standard Chartered Plc said recently that it was gearing to transform digital banking in Africa.

Digitising Africa continues to be an integral component of our strategic transformation, and we have been steadily expanding our footprint across the continent. We are constantly looking for ways to push the boundaries, by providing our customers innovative solutions and technologies. Ultimately, it is about listening to what our clients want and meeting their banking needs by offering a digital platform to do their banking anytime and anywhere, through the channel they prefer,” Sunil Kaushal, Standard Chartered Bank’s regional CEO for Africa and the Middle East.