Sep 20, 2013
Kenya, September 16th 2013 - Standard Chartered announced today the launch of “Straight2Bank Mobile Wallet”, its new mobile payment service for corporate clients in Kenya, in partnership with Safaricom’s M-PESA wallets. The new service enables clients such as development organisations, insurance companies and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies to make payments to both banked and unbanked individuals such as aid workers, policy holders and farmers through their M-PESA mobile wallet. This will significantly lower the risks and reduce costs in handling cash, while simplifying and accelerating the payment processes of administration and reconciliation.
M-PESA is a mobile-phone based electronic payments system, launched by Safaricom in March 2007. M-PESA allows individuals and corporates to exchange cash and electronic money through a network of over 65,000 agent outlets in Kenya. In Kenya, more than two thirds of the adult population – about 17 million – transfer 43% of the country’s GDP flow through the mobile network.
Straight2Bank Mobile Wallet will be particularly useful in Kenya where many people do not have access to the traditional bank services and need to send and receive money in rural parts of the country. The service will help corporates save time and costs by enabling them to conveniently make and track payments.
In response to growing corporate demand for convenient payments capabilities, Straight2Bank Mobile Wallet expands the Bank’s existing Straight2Bank platform that offers internet-based service for corporate customers. One of the key valuable features is a completely end-to-end automated transaction process removing the need for manual intervention, which provides efficiency, scalability and reduced error rate.
Gautam Jain, Global Head of Client Access, Transaction Banking, Standard Chartered, commented, “We are delighted to be supporting clients with mobile payment solutions in Kenya. Millions of unbanked individuals, including those living in remote regions without access to banks, are now part of the formal financial framework. This is a wonderful example of how mobile wallets are helping to transform lives.”
The potential for mobile wallets penetration across emerging markets is substantial. An estimated one billion people across Asia, Africa and the Middle East possess a mobile phone but do not have a bank account. The availability of mobile wallets represents a fantastic opportunity for any organisation or company with business in emerging markets to reach out to individuals more efficiently and, in the process, drive large-scale social and economic change.
Gautam Jain added, “Mobility is a key component of our client service channels strategy. We believe mobile devices will become the prime modes of financial interaction and transaction in the coming years. In particular, this is already reality in Kenya. We are excited to bring greater efficiency and capabilities to our clients in Kenya.”
Standard Chartered is committed to making banking services easier to access in developing markets. Straight2Bank Mobile Wallet is a good example of the Bank’s brand promise “Here for good”. The Bank intends to expand the offering to other relevant countries across its footprint of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker