Shift to Digital Services Lift Standard Bank Profits

Our innovation initiatives extend across analytics, robotics, cyber security and blockchain

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Standard Bank Group continues to undertake a wide approach to its technology investments, such as increasing its digital capabilities, which has helped Africa’s largest bank by assets to deliver positive results for the first half of 2017.

The journey to compete aggressively in the digital space continues as part of Standard Bank strategy to improve the client experience.

Standard Bank reported on Thursday a 11% rise in headline earnings per share (HEPS) to 756 cents, supporting an interim dividend per share of 400 cents.

HEPS is South Africa’s main profit gauge. The bank attributed the rise in earnings to its universal client offering, geographic diversity, and increasingly digital capabilities.

The company has more plans to move its banking services to compete in the digital world.

“We will continue to invest in our digital capabilities and the re-skilling of our employees, with the primary objective of improving the client experience,” the bank informed investors on Thursday.

During the first half, the company said digital adoption continued to gain traction.

It said Personal & Business Banking (PBB) South Africa posted close on 500 million mobile transactions, up 55% relative to the prior period while ATM and teller volumes were down 5% and 15% respectively.

The Africa Regions recorded 100 million digital transactions, up 47% period on period.

“We recognise that we are not where we want to be in terms of customer satisfaction and are making changes to ensure that we improve this going forward. Our core banking replacement journey in SA and Africa Regions remains on track to close by the end of the year. Although it has been a long and costly exercise, we remain of the opinion that it provides us with the resilient platform required to compete in a digital world,” the company said.

“Our innovation initiatives extend across analytics, robotics, cyber security, and blockchain. We will continue to seek opportunities to successfully collaborate with FinTechs and support relevant IT skills development initiatives.”

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