Leverage Digital Platforms for Financial Inclusion

By Andrew Murugu

The outbreak of COVID-19 has significantly impacted operations in key sectors, such as manufacturing, logistics, hospitality, and transportation among others. On the other hand, the pandemic has also accelerated the adoption of contactless digital payments while discouraging physical cash transactions. This has created a need for financial systems to be connected globally for efficiency and business continuity.

According to the World Economic Forum, the current COVID-19 public health crisis has accelerated digital trade and cross-border e-commerce as physical commerce contracts and digital commerce expands.

It is with that in mind that South Sudan should leverage digital payments as a safer, convenient and affordable means to make transactions. This is also supported by the recent currency fluctuations that have led to long queues in banks and a limit on withdrawal amounts for all financial institutions.

Additionally, as the world becomes more interconnected than ever, it is important for businesses and individuals to safely access platforms that empower them to easily plug in and access safe online money transactions. Stanbic Bank South Sudan has been able to leverage our internet banking platform, Business Online (BOL) capabilities to support our Corporate clients to make and receive international payments in the global market.

Stanbic Bank’s digital platforms allow clients to access innovative digital financial products because they have no limit and in the long run, are ultimately cheaper for retail and corporate clients and services are available 24 hours a day for all clients.

During the Coronavirus crisis, we have encouraged our clients to leverage our digital solutions which have been keeping economies running and from a health perspective helped people to reduce contact with the deadly virus.

In a report by Markets and Markets, an international Business to Business research firm, the global digital payment market size is expected to grow from USD 79.3 billion in 2020 to USD 154.1 billion by 2025 owing to the worldwide initiatives for the promotion of digital payments, high proliferation of smartphones enabling mobile commerce growth, increase in eCommerce sales, and growth in internet penetration.

With the already positive trajectory brought by COVID-19 restrictions, South Sudan can also adopt digital payments by being part of the global narrative to accelerate economic growth, reduce poverty, and promote financial inclusion to all population groups.

Stanbic Bank remains committed to the socio-economic development of South Sudan. With Standard Bank Group’s 158 years of experience in Africa, and with a presence in over 20 countries globally,  Stanbic Bank is using its unique position to ensure South Sudan has the right tools for economic transformation.

Andrew Murugu

Country Head at Stanbic Bank South Sudan

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