Digital with a Human Touch: How Standard Chartered excels in end-to-end digital banking

Image: Saranya Phu akat /

Bagging the greatest number of awards and numerous accolades at the Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker, Standard Chartered proved once again that it is a leader in its field. Employing a data-driven approach into product development and research, matched with a 360-degree understanding of client needs, Standard Chartered continuously delivers enriching experiences to its customers all year round. Among the coveted awards bagged by Standard Chartered this year include:

  • Retail Banker of the Year, Asia – Vicky Kong
  • Winner, Best AI Initiative
  • Winner, Best Digital Banking initiative
  • Winner, Best Digital Financial Inclusion Initiative
  • Winner, Outstanding Client Onboarding & Account Opening
  • Winner, Best Self-Service Banking
  • Winner, Best Digital Bank Singapore
  • Winner, Best Digital Bank Taiwan
  • Winner, Best Digital Bank Pakistan
  • Winner, Best Digital Bank Africa
  • Winner, Best Digital Bank Hong Kong
  • Winner, Best Islamic Retail Bank – Global
  • Winner, Best Islamic Retail Bank – Malaysia
  • Winner, Best Islamic Retail Bank – Pakistan
  • Winner, Best Islamic Retail Bank – Bangladesh
  • Highly Acclaimed, Best Mobile Banking

“Standard Chartered is one of the largest and fastest-growing banks in the world. It offers best in class services to its customers across all lines of banking, allowing it to expand significantly in the major markets it serves. For Standard Chartered, the key has always been “digital with a human touch.” The team’s passion for implementing new digital capabilities while simplifying its customers’ digital banking activities is a true game-changer,” said Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards ceremony.

“For Standard Chartered, the key has always been “digital with a human touch.” The team’s passion for implementing new digital capabilities while simplifying its customers’ digital banking activities is a true game-changer.”

Outstanding digital initiatives across Asia and beyond 

Standard Chartered employs a proactive approach to using technology to deliver a seamless client experience. In Hong Kong, they launched MyRM, a new chat function within the SC Mobile banking app that allows clients to connect with its relationship managers through messaging, co-browsing and conferencing within a secured environment to discuss wealth management solutions.  Its user-friendly wealth management platform enables clients to make investments and buy insurance round-the-clock. Within its Mobile Unit Trust platform, the Bank has a shortlist of the best performing, most popular and high-dividend funds so clients can easily assess products best suited for them.

Meanwhile, in Taiwan, an initiative called ‘SC Keyboard Banking’ was launched. Utilising the keyboard of a client’s mobile phone to make payments, the Keyboard Banking function has since become the first-ever keyboard-based social media payment gateway in Taiwan, enabling users to send money and view their account balances without having to logout from messaging apps.

In addition, with customers’ high stickiness to social media, Standard Chartered has been able to use LINE as new client acquisition and communication channel. In Taiwan, LINE has an existing 21 million monthly active users with 91.3% market penetration. Standard Chartered’s official LINE account has provided a new avenue to approach customers. Any person who is interested in a product or service can be directed to the application page within a click. LINE’s account binding function enables personalised services for clients including inquiries on credit card statement and reward points without having to log in to mobile banking separately.

Similarly, in Pakistan, going heavy on digital also helps streamline internal processes. Using its ‘eOPS’ facility (otherwise known as electronic operations facility), it allows the Bank to store all client applications and documents electronically, removing the dependency on physical documents and eliminating scenarios of misplaced or damaged documents. Moreover, as the systems are well integrated, the entire exercise of moving physical documents to back-office operations team has now been made redundant, saving precious time and effort of company employees. This capability has greatly improved staff efficiency resulting in quicker turn-around-time of service delivery to clients.

Moving to over to Africa, Standard Chartered launched its first pure digital bank in Côte d’Ivoire in 2018 and completed a multi-market roll out this year across 8 additional markets in Africa including Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and  Nigeria. The Bank has invested heavily in the research and development of products that align with its customers’ fast-paced and digitally connected lives. For example, the end-to-end technology that the team deployed in its digital banks in Africa was developed in-house. The goal was to design state-of-the-art products that provide its users with the right balance of functionality and capability to meet their banking needs. That goal has been successfully achieved.

Making headway in Islamic banking

Standard Chartered Saadiq offers the complete range of Shariah-Compliant financial solutions to clients in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The Bank offers unmatched digital solutions resulting in greater client convenience and satisfaction. By offering a complete range of Shariah-Compliant products – from credit cards to financing and wealth management solutions – the Bank has been able to expand its Islamic banking footprint on a global scale.

Recently, in Malaysia, Standard Chartered Saadiq Berhad (SCB) launched a Shariah-compliant proposition called ‘Halal360’ to support local businesses to thrive within the global eco-system. The most attractive feature of this proposition is the financial incentives offered by SCSB for halal businesses in Malaysia. All initiatives are focused on growing Islamic banking businesses and provide exceptional customer experience.

“Employing data driven approach into product development and research, StanChart continuously delivers enriching experiences to its customers all year round.”

Retail Banker of the Year, Asia – Vicky Kong

On a bigger scale, Standard Chartered truly excels as a team. But individually, some people show consistently exemplary performance that moves the needle when it comes to retail banking. One of them is Ms Vicky Kong. Awarded  Retail Banker of the Year for Asia, Vicky Kong is the Regional Head of Wealth Management, GCNA and Global Head of Wealth.

In one of the most turbulent years for Hong Kong, first with the protests and later with Covid-19, Vicky Kong, helmed the retail banking operations at Standard Chartered Hong Kong. During this period, SC Hong Kong’s retail operations and digital usage grew significantly as a result of various initiatives meant to enhance customer experience. In the first nine months of 2020, the Bank’s unit trust transactions via digital channels increased more than two-fold and transaction volumes for foreign exchange were up almost 50% year-on-year.


>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.


Image: Saranya Phu akat /

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