On April 8th, Standard Chartered Bank announced the opening of a new innovation hub branch in Kenya. The Africa eXellerator, located in the bank’s head office in Chiromo, Nairobi, will provide a much awaited regional platform for the development of new services and business models and collaboration with fintechs.
Standard Chartered Kenya’s CEO Kariuki Ngari commented in a recent press release on the multi-national bank’s position in Kenya. “We are a connector bank – connecting clients, markets and products with networks and facilitating trade and investment across our global footprint across some of the fastest growing markets. We are establishing an innovation centre in Kenya – the Africa eXellerator lab, to develop better products and services for our clients.[…] We will focus on developing solutions in artificial intelligence, cyber security and ‘Banking Made Easy’ to ensure we provide the best possible services to our clients of today, and tomorrow.”
Kennedy Mubita, SC Ventures’s Africa Region Lead, commented on the high digital adoption rate and vibrant ecosystem of the region. “Coupled with our strong client franchise, it makes for an exciting landscape in client co-creation, partnerships and innovation in Kenya, which will have applications across the Africa region.”
Standard Chartered setup its first eXellerator in Singapore three years ago. SC Ventures then created interconnecting hubs in London, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Kenya. The London Lab has been built as the Bank’s UK and EU innovation center, whilst its Hong Kong branch has partnered with leading University of Hong Kong to provide 1,000 staff members with fintech certification program focused on technology use-cases. Their North American accelerator, Standard Chartered Studios, is in San Francisco to take advantage of proximity to Silicon Valley, a hotspot of high-tech talent.
This latest by Standard Chartered Bank and its SC Ventures division comes along other exciting solutions, partnerships and developments from the Bank which highlights their global market footprint;
• SC Ventures created an open platform allowing access to a variety of financial and business solutions for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in India
• Creation of the SC Ventures Fintech Bridge which partners fintechs with business challenges
• Launch of a digital-only retail banks in the African continent in Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya.
• Establishment of a joint venture in Hong Kong for a digital retail bank with PCCW, HKT and Ctrip Finance