INTERVIEW reason, many of our customers are looking outside of South Africa’s border. Cross-border financing is more complex and so their banking requirements have changed in some cases. Volatility and currency fluctuations have meant that forex hedging and forward-buying have become more important. These days, customers also have a greater choice when it comes to international products and are not compelled to use local banks for each transaction. Increasingly, executives are complaining about the difficultly they have in recruiting appropriately skilled people. Has Standard Bank introduced any new products or services recently?
In the last year we introduced a reward programme for our small enterprise (SE) clients – UCount: Businesses with an annual turnover of up to R20-million stand to benefit from these rewards. Payment solutions: BluMobi is another innovation we’ve introduced; it functions as a fully mobile point-of-sale solution. SnapScan and Tap to Pay are other payment solutions that are making it far more convenient for business clients to collect payment and for individuals to make payments. SE clients also benefit from Banker Chat 24/7. Online banking: We are in the process of enhancing our online banking services, particularly for businesses. Customers are already able to view balances, check statements and make payments on their business accounts. We have spent time aligning the look and feel of our applications across various digital platforms, which means that irrespective of whether customers choose to use a mobile phone, a tablet or a computer, they will have the same online experience. Tradesmen and medical professionals: Two new areas of focus in the SE segment include specific value propositions for tradesmen and the medical profession. The Tradesmen offer packages a number of banking services at a very affordable rate. The Medical proposition provides solutions that will assist medical professionals in both their personal capacity and business capacity. Instant Money: Another product that has been extended to our business customers is Instant Money,
WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017
“THE WESTERN CAPE COMMERCIAL PROPERTY FINANCE MARKET HAS CONTINUED TO SHOW STRONG GROWTH, OUT- PERFORMING MANY OF ITS PEERS IN THE COUNTRY.” a payment solution that allows you to send money to anyone in South Africa by using their cellphone number. This solution will allow businesses to make payments in a cost-effective and secure manner. Always On: As far as our personal customers are concerned, they benefit from Always On – 24/7 banking anywhere, anytime. Customers can now conduct their banking through email, WeChat, Facebook, a call to their personal banker or by simply using our banking app and new internet banking functionality. Shari’ah offering: Many of our Western Cape customers will be pleased to hear about an improved Shari’ah offering relating to fixed deposits for personal and business purposes as well as forward exchange contracts. Kidz Banking: We have also aunched a Kidz Banking app that teaches children how to manage money from a young age. Having mentioned all of these innovations and new products, I still believe, however, that the real differentiator will be in the way that we execute our intentions. Great thinking and effective marketing messaging are important, but we intend to ensure that Standard Bank Western Cape implements excellent service and that we do what matters most to customers.