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More than 55% of new lending products are applied for and taken up using digital platforms. Picture: SUPPLIED/STANDARD BANK
More than 55% of new lending products are applied for and taken up using digital platforms. Picture: SUPPLIED/STANDARD BANK

The latest engagement statistics for Standard Bank’s Mobile Banking app show that customers are becoming more comfortable engaging digitally for more than just basic banking.

Standard Bank reports that there have been more than 1.2-million customers of the app’s Explore and Help centres since September 2020, amounting to 2-million views and more than 5,600 visitors a day.

The Help Centre is an interactive knowledge and self-help platform available on the Standard Bank App for existing customers and consumers who have not necessarily registered. 

Standard Bank data shows 157,000 customers used the centre’s help cards, which contain 95 how-to guides, 15 videos and 400 FAQs, and 66,000 searched a topic for help options, to learn about a feature of a service.

“This shows our customers are willing to use a self-help service and leverage the available videos and guidance offered to improve their financial lives. The app is used in 12 countries and engagement is growing in Ghana, Namibia and Uganda to name a few,” says Van der Hoven.

The increase in digital engagement other than basic banking transactions shows the improved confidence customers have in digital platforms, but also that these interactions can help access services and products in a more personal way.

Standard Bank released figures for its Explore Centre, which helps customers find and explore different financial products to meet their needs on the app. In the nine weeks since launch, the centre has had more than 166,000 visitors in SA.

“The nature of interactions is changing. In the past, banking was a physical experience and, while transactions and basic banking have moved online, more personal interactions typically remained in a branch or voice environment. We are now seeing a move to searching digitally for products and services, reaching out to communities to check reviews, and then buying online in many cases.”

Van der Hoven says more than 55% of new lending products are applied for and taken up using digital platforms. 

While convenience is a strong motivator for customers to use digital platforms, they have other benefits that are more difficult to replicate physically such as the ability to compare, assess and choose the right option for them.

Explore Centre gives customers relevant information, in personal lending and banking, and they can also compare offerings to best suit their needs. Since the launch of the Explore Centre, 20% of visitors showed intent to take up an additional product, with more than 35,000 customers applying for these products and services from the app.

While in the past, a banking app was a place to conduct transactions, it’s becoming a tool to improve customer’s lives. According to Standard Bank, app users spent 7% more time on the banking app in the first quarter of 2021 than in 2020. This has been driven by increased logins and time spent for each login.

“This clearly shows a shift to more digital engagement, but we still believe there is a lot more to do to help customers via the app. Customers have responded positively to the Explore Centre and we’re excited about what’s to come. Our phones are important in our lives so we should be able to engage digitally for all our financial services needs,” says Van der Hoven.

This article was paid for by Standard Bank.

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