Standard Bank has launched its first Chinese internet banking site in Angola.
Growing Africa-China trade by building and managing an innovative and effective Africa-China banking corridor requires an understanding of the pain points that African clients face when accessing China. Standard Bank currently estimates that there may be over 30 000 active Chinese-owned firms in Africa. The majority of these are smaller privately-owned businesses.
Given the number of Chinese firms in Africa, “it is necessary to understand and manage the challenges that Chinese clients face when operating on the continent,” says Adrian Vermooten, Head of Digital for Africa Regions at Standard Bank.
Since the bulk of Chinese businesses operating in Africa are not large, “Chinese business owners generally work in the business where they play vital operational roles,” says Vermooten. Separate Standard Bank research amongst its Chinese clients in Africa also shows that business owners taking time out to manage their banking is a serious impediment to day-to-day operations. “The fact that not all bank personnel speak Chinese is an additional challenge,” he adds.
Standard Bank chose Angola to pilot the project as the country has a large Chinese business community. Angola is also very digitally active with a high level of online and mobile banking, especially amongst Standard Bank clients. “We also have an extremely pro-active and digitally-able team on the ground in the country,” said Vermooten.