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July 21, 2016updated 04 Apr 2017 3:57pm

Standard Chartered to launch video banking to Asia, Africa and the Middle East

Standard Chartered (StanChart),the UK-headquartered bank focused on emerging markets, is to roll out video banking to more than five million clients in nine markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

By Jessica Longley

Standard Chartered (StanChart),the UK-headquartered bank focused on emerging markets, is to roll out video banking to more than five million clients in nine markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The new service will enable customers to speak with banking consultants over a secure video connection from a location of their choice. Instead of visiting a branch, customers can use the video service from their laptop for any banking needs they have, from signing up for a new card to finding a suitable mortgage.

Customers will be able to access live, on-the-spot services through video, audio links and web chat as well as share screens with consultants, allowing them to upload and share forms and documents.

Karen Fawcett, StanChart’s CEO for Retail Banking, commented: “Video banking is about giving our clients more choice and more convenience. Now you don’t have to come in to a branch to talk to somebody face-to-face.”

Priority Banking clients will also be able to use video banking to benefit from “face-to-face” investment advice. Launched in Malaysia and Singapore, the bank plans to expand its video banking service to Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan, Kenya and the UAE by the end of 2016.

This move is part of a strategic plan to strengthen StanChart’s retail banking division. Unveiled by chief executive Bill Winters last November, the bank is investing $1.5bn in technology over three years. StanChart aims to improve systems and digital services for consumers by generating 30% of sales and 40% of payments online by 2018.

Karen Fawcett added: “We are investing in technology that makes banking secure, simple and personal for our clients”. Earlier this year, the bank launched its digital “bank on an iPad” sales-and-service tool and introduced a new mobile and online banking platform in eight new markets, bringing digital channels to 1 million clients in the region.

The bank is also planning a reshuffle by leaving smaller countries and restructuring underperforming retail banking operation in South Korea. Standard Chartered has already closed 175 branches since 2014, and currently has about 1,000 branches across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

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