August 29, 2022 – The phenomenal growth of Stanbic Bank’s borderless banking platform in East Africa has revealed pent-up demand for real-time secure transactions across international borders.
Covering a unique network that includes Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Sudan, the Borderless Banking solution has grown exponentially from January 2021 to March 2022, at a rate of USD 40 million in transaction volume, compared to almost zero in January 2021.
From February to March 2022 alone, the volume of successful transactions increased by 24%, with a total value of 3.5 million USD in transactions processed in March.
“Customers in the region have long struggled to access cross-border transaction platforms that offer consistent, fast and affordable service,” said Patrick Mweheire, Standard Bank Group’s Regional Managing Director for East Africa.
“This system has been developed in a cost-effective manner, demonstrating how and when we work together, we can achieve great things that drive East Africa’s growth and intra-regional trade.”
Launched in 2021, Borderless Banking enables customers to access their accounts and transact in real time at any Stanbic Bank branch across the bank’s footprint in East Africa.
On a single platform, customers have a holistic view of all banking solutions in the region, making it easy to transact, conduct business and instantly access funds in any account they hold with of Stanbic in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Sudan.
According to the Mastercard 2022 Borderless Payments report, 47% of small businesses are doing more international business than before the Covid-19 pandemic.
About 68% of small businesses agree that the operation of the global payment network has allowed them to survive.
Another important driver of growth, according to the report, is that 63% of consumers send cross-border payments to financially support family and friends abroad.
Therefore, it was important for Stanbic to keep costs fair. For example, cash deposits are free and cash withdrawals are set between $2 and $3 across the network.
Cash deposits, cash withdrawals, fees and even customer authentication are all done in real time, facilitated on a growing and highly secure system.
This dramatically reduces turnaround times, data mining, fund tracking, and business growth now better able to research and access cross-border trade.
Over the past year, 80% of transactions made have been cash deposits, while the remaining 20% have been cash withdrawals.
The main sectors likely to benefit from the platform are oil and gas, energy, non-governmental organizations, industry and manufacturing, agriculture and even governments.
“We are seeing continued positive and tangible development of the solution,” says Mweheire.
“As part of Standard Bank’s journey to become a true platform business, we believe this creates an integrated economy for us, and we continue to drive our own payments strategy and program.”
Mweheire quotes truckers who used to worry about transporting large volumes of cash across borders, something he says they don’t have to think about anymore.
“They can access all Stanbic branches in the region, which has allowed us to be more efficient and improve the safety of our drivers,” he adds.