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Customer Snapshot: Overview

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. 

Standard Bank of South Africa

US$1.7 billion

Number of Employees

Line of Business

SAP Solutions
SAP Consulting, SAP for Banking, Sybase Unwired Platform

Johannesburg, South Africa

Customer Website

Implementation Partners
SAP Consulting



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.

Customer Snapshot: History

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.

Customer Snapshot: 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.

Customer Snapshot: Success Strategy

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 Sybase Unwired 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.

Enter SAP: The SAP Experience


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 Sybase Unwired Platform.

Better Business


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. 

Better Business: Benefits


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.  

Better Business: 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.

Better Business: Run Simple


Transforming Internally

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

Journey Ahead


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.
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