The digital dawn

Kabelo Adamson

Having just been appointed as Standard Chartered Bank Botswana’s Head of Retail Banking, BinoRasedisa’s biggest task is to oversee the rolling-out of the company’s Digital Bank.

Radisesa recently returned from Dubai where he spent over two years at the global bank’s Africa and Middle East Regional Office.

In this interview with Voice Money’sKABELO ADAMSON, he explains how the Digital Bank will be rolled-out.

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Q. Firstly, kindly share what your role as Head of Retail Banking entails?

I am in charge of looking after our retail clients.

These are individual clients, ranging from an individual all the way up to different segments within the retail portfolio.

These include low-income earners, middle-income all the way to higher-income earners.

There is also a sub-sector called business banking which is the SMMEs type of business, which we also support.

The product offering is pretty similar across all our clients; it is the largest business for Standard Chartered Botswana.

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Q. You say it is the largest, how much of the total business does it constitute?

It makes around 70 percent of the total business.

Q. And when did you assume the role?

I literally just started! I was appointed on the 1st of November this year.

I have worked at Standard Chartered Bank Botswana for over seven-and-a-half years.

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PreviouslyI was in corporate Banking then joined the CEO’s office.

From there I went to Dubai where I worked for the regional CEO, who looks after 25 of our markets in Africa and the Middle East.

I then joined the Digital Banking team within retail which was covering the region.

Q. What was it like living in Dubai?

I was there for two-and-a-half years and it was a great opportunity.

I worked for our senior individual in the region of Africa and Middle East, which Botswana falls under.

We have 25 CEOs who report to him through different clusters.

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For me it was a great opportunity and steep learning curve.

I was able to interact with all markets across the region.

Q. I understand you will oversee the rolling-out of the Digital Bank in Botswana?

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Yes, it was a very great assignment!

We were responsible for developing a strategy for the bank to go digital.

Going digital naturally means the branch network starts to reduce.

For example, Standard Chartered Hong Kong have actually developed a fully digital bank away from the existing bank which is meant to operate just like we are operating right now.

We developed solutions for our region by looking at ways to acquire new customers while continuing to service the existing ones.

So these are the main drivers of how the Digital Bank came to start.

Q. What does this digitization mean, its impact, especially from the human resource perspective?

Look, from the human resource side I think what it means is our staff need to understand how digital affects their lives because it’s not just an issue of what we have lost.

Everything now is going digital, even government is digitizing certain services.

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A good example I can give you is do we probably need 20 people in the branch or 15? Of course digital will disrupt in some ways, maybe one or two people might lose their jobs.

It is just a factor of life but it is not necessarily the strategy of why we develop this Digital Bank.

The strategy of the Digital Bank is to offer convenience to our customers, to make our processes less cumbersome and one or two people along the way will be affected.

But by no means is this a strategy to reduce people from our banking services but purely a strategy to improve efficiency and ease of doing business.

Q. So this means the bank might close some of its braches?

Look, right now I cannot say whether we are going to close branches.

This year there are two branches that were closed but in terms of our strategy we are not saying we want to close a certain amount of branches.

We only started rolling out in June so you can appreciate there is still bit of time for us to see what impact this digital channel has had.

Once we realise the true impact and if it means we don’t need as many branches maybe it’s a conversation that can be heard.

But at this point we don’t have anything around that!

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