Standard Chartered Bank is to launch a new online and mobile banking platform for its customers in Africa, its consumer banking chief in the region has told Reuters. The service will cater to 1 million of its customers in eight countries (Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe).       

The move comes in potential competition with main African competitor Standard Bank’s announcement earlier this year regarding its joint venture with Tencent, and intends to establish a mobile banking platform with the capability to service customers across the continent.  

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The Standard Chartered offering will also face tough competition in Kenya from the M-Pesa mobile banking platform already in existence there – mobile payment penetration in Kenya is currently at 86% of households.

Conversely, it comes at a time when many of its European counterparts, including Barclays, are announcing their intentions to pull out of the continent.