Kenya’s Cellulant to power mobile applications for Standard Chartered in Africa
…following recent KShs.100million investment on its new platform release 3.0
Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, the first bank in its global network and among the first globally to launch mobile banking on USSD platform in partnership with Cellulant 3 years ago, is looking to be the first to rollout a mobile commerce ecosystem network for its customers.
Cellulant, who power mobile banking for more than 32 banks in Africa, operate Africa’s leading mobile commerce network enabling over Kshs.10 billion in transaction value last year. With the new deal, Cellulant will deploy its new mobile commerce platform dubbed Release 3.0 which is a mobile commerce platform that enables banking, merchant services, digital services, bulk payments and agency banking via applications on android, ios (apple) and other channels access such as USSD, SMS and Java applications.
Standard Chartered Kenya’s Consumer Banking Director, Kariuki Ngari, says that this investment has already seen them double the active base of M-banking users over the second quarter winning the Bank an award within its global network. He adds that the Bank is eager to see its customers adopt the new platform as it plans to roll out new services on its alternative channels.
Cellulant have been powering mobile banking for Standard Chartered Bank for about 3 years across 5 countries in Africa (Ghana, Zambia, Botswana, Nigeria and Kenya) and is looking to rolling this across all Standard Chartered Bank markets in Africa enabling the Banks customers across the continent to enjoy mobile banking, merchant payments, web payments, digital content and agency banking on their phones.
Standard Chartered Bank’s decision to upgrade to Cellulant’s new mobile commerce platform, Ngari explained, is also based on the platform robustness which allows the bank to tailor make different products for various markets across Africa.
This new software iteration is a highly robust technical platform that integrates to different core banking systems with security features on encryption, monitoring and channel management business tools. The platform also aggregates banks channels such as ATM and Internet Banking to enhance customer’s user experience and enable services such as card less withdrawals, secure PIN management, SMS alerts on mobile for ATM, bill presentment and payment.
According to Cellulant’s Chief Business Officer, Mr. Paul Ndichu, the firm invests 15% of its annual revenues from all its markets in Research and Development to drive product enhancement and new mobile commerce platforms that enables value chains. Standard Chartered Bank has been aggressive in the mobile space deploying its own application store with Apple (iPhone and iPad) for its customers and employees, with applications such as BREEZE, FX RATES, Straight-to-Bank and Trade port.
“The Bank’s aim is to more than triple mobile commerce usage as an alternative delivery channel for our range of services as part of our strategic commitment to meet our discerning customers’ needs more conveniently,” Ngari said. “Cellulant has managed to meet our international demands to provide a technically superior, robust and scalable solution and we are proud to continue this journey with them.”
Cellulant drives mobile commerce in 10 countries: Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Mauritius, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi and now Zimbabwe and Mozambique and is one of the first companies to be issued with the Mobile payments license in Nigeria. In Africa, Cellulant enables mobiles commerce over 30 mobile networks for different industries including banking, insurance, music, utilities, retail and manufacturing.
“We have built a mobile commerce network that is connected to different platforms across different value chains in Africa such as MNO wallets, banks, Merchant bill payment gateways and content delivery channels to deliver a transformational experience on mobile,” Ndichu explained.
I opened my A/C with SCB over 19 years ago simply because they were the only bank that had ATM’s (remember when the debit didn’t hit your A/C until the next day). Anyway the rush to mobile is welcome, but I cant help but feel that not enough was done for the online banking for retail customers. Many of us still spend more time in front of a PC/Laptop than browsing on our mobiles. I think we got left out somewhere along the way
Cellulant certainly has gone a long way in powering mobile applications in Kenya. It is great to see Kenyans taking the lead and developing their own platforms instead of importing from other countries.