<< More customer stories
  • Tweet this Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Google+ Email

Explore how other customers are generating value with SAP technology.

More customer stories ›

Customer Snapshot

Unwired Meets Unbanked with Mobile Banking

10 Million

people can now have

mobile bank accounts.

No Address Required.


In South Africa, 10 million people have been unable to have day-to-day banking services because they need proof of residency. Until now.


Standard Bank of South Africa uses mobile technology to welcome the unbanked into the banking sector. SBSA is expecting to realize dramatic benefits from its inclusive banking initiative. Their mobile bank representatives can open a new account for customers in less than 10 minutes anywhere in the country. SBSA is opening an average of 2,000 new accounts per day, offering personal banking services to 10 million new prospects.


  • 488
  • 275


Standard Bank of South Africa


Johannesburg, South Africa


US$1.7 billion

Number of Employees


Implementation Partners


Line of Business

Service, Information Technology



Featured Products

SAP Mobile Platform, SAP for Banking


Global bank with visionary goals

Standard Bank Group Ltd. is a global bank with African roots. The largest bank in South Africa, Standard Bank of South Africa holds a 25% market share, operates in 17 African countries and 13 other nations outside the African continent. For 150 years, Standard Bank has offered a full slate of banking services, including saving, lending, investment, and wealth management.


With visionary goals for their country, one of SBSA’s business transformation initiatives was to develop an inclusive banking program that would provide low-income and poor consumers with access to formal financial services at Standard Bank. Meeting this mission required a highly automated IT solution that could operate at a low cost.

Business Model

A new emerging business model

With its headquarters in Johannesburg, Standard Bank has developed and refined a universal banking model in the sophisticated and flourishing South African financial sector. Its deep roots in South Africa provide perfect positioning and a strong base for growth into emerging markets—while technology provides the vehicle to realize these opportunities.

Success Strategy

Aligning every employee to the bottom line

Simply put, Butterfield Bank wants to return to sustainable profitability. They understand that performance management isn’t just a yearly exercise, but a fact of daily business. To drive better financial outcomes, they hope to align their employees more closely with specific corporate objectives.


Willie Stegmann, Program Director for Banking Transformation, Standard Bank Group Ltd.

Willie Stegmann, Program Director for Banking Transformation, Standard Bank Group Ltd.

“Gaining access to a bank account gives the unbanked a ticket to participate in the formal economy. This not only empowers them, but it
also plays an important role in driving the growth
of our country.”


Combating Poverty While Improving the Bottom Line

By reaching out to the millions of unbanked through their mobile solutions, SBSA is creating a bottom line where everyone benefits.

The Challenge

Connecting with the unbanked

It’s no small feat to provide banking services to millions of impoverished citizens who previously could not have an account without a mailing address.


This not only meant there was no technical infrastructure in people’s homes—but no brick-and-mortar banks in their small villages either. SBSA is reaching out with mobile representatives to literally place this service in their hands—wherever they are and wherever they may roam.

Enter SAP


SBSA was one of the pioneer banks in the world in terms of using the core banking SAP platform, and they have been working together with SAP to dramatically transform SBSA into a more customer centric bank.


The team deployed the SAP Mobile Platform in just 10 months, thanks to a strong governance model, support from SAP Active Global Support, and board-level involvement from both SAP and Sybase.

The SAP Experience


  • 488
  • 275

Products offered via a mobile a device

A long-time user of SAP software, Standard Bank considered building inclusive banking practices supported by its existing IT systems. With the SAP acquisition of Sybase, however, the company saw an opportunity to extend its investment in SAP software using mobile technologies. SAP Consulting performed a proof of concept and created a custom account-origination app on the SAP Mobile Platform.

Better Business

Banking the unbanked

Banking the unbanked is a new competitive sector and with the help of SAP, SBSA was the first to serve the market with this technology.


  • 488
  • 275

Opening new accounts anywhere in the country



  • 488
  • 275

Customers exchanging money with their mobile phones

The mobile technology with remote banking representatives removes the physical limitations of forcing people to go to a branch to open an account, and only requires an ID to open an account, rather than the traditional household address mandated by most banks.


People can use their mobile phones to buy goods and services, such as airtime and electricity, transfer funds into savings accounts, and obtain loans. Many customers use the technology for person-to-person mobile payments—transferring money to remotely located family members.

Lessons Learned

Collaboration is key

The team deployed the software in just 10 months, thanks to a strong governance model, support from SAP Active Global Support, and board-level involvement from both SAP and Sybase. Although the software was not initially designed to run on Android devices, SAP executives influenced Sybase to accelerate the development of Android-compatible software in time for the bank’s launch.


The team also worked closely to overcome performance issues. For example, when an issue was discovered with high-resolution ID photos causing system degradation due to file size, team members from SBSA, SAP and Sybase quickly collaborated to solve the issue.

Run Simple

Transforming internally

  • 488
  • 275

Becoming a more customer-centric bank

Standard Bank will continue building on its new mobile banking platform to support their transformation goals.

Journey Ahead


  • 488
  • 275

Opening the emerging market and unbanked

An average of $1.3 billion is being invested over four years, making this the largest undertaking in SBSA history. With the support of SAP, they plan to continue providing simple, affordable, and convenient banking services to millions of potential consumers who never had that opportunity before.

Related Links