STANDARD Chartered has launched its digital bank in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia as part of its digital transformation strategy in Africa.

The digital-only bank launch follows launches in Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana and Kenya in the first quarter of the year and Côte d’Ivoire in 2018.

The expansion in Africa comes at a time when the continent, with a growing economy and population, is demanding wider access to digital services. The digital banking solution provides Standard Chartered customers across the eight markets with affordable, convenient, fast and easily accessible banking services.

“This is a significant achievement for the bank having now launched digital banks in eight markets in 15 months of our initial launch in Côte d’Ivoire,”Africa and Middle East regional chief executive officer Sunil Kaushal said in a statement.

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“The growing population of Africa is demanding faster and more convenient banking and it has been very rewarding to witness increased acceptance and a growing demand for our digital products across the continent. We have an exciting pipeline of product launches on this platform which will position us as the premier digital bank in our markets of choice,” he said.

By digitalising the entire banking experience, customers will be able to enjoy simple, secure, and affordable banking anytime, anywhere.

Active customers of the digital bank will also be eligible to receive loyalty benefits and promotions.

The bank is expected to continue its digital expansion in African markets with another launch planned in September for Nigeria.

Standard Chartered has also launched social banking with SC Keyboard, which allows customers to access a variety of financial services from within any social or messaging platform without having to open the Banking app.

Initially launched in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania, the solution is a first for the bank in Africa and will be rolled out in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria during the rest of the year.

The keyboard-based banking solution allows clients to transfer money in real-time, pay utility bills and instantly check balances from within any social or messaging platform.