Why Mobile Classrooms are Appearing Around South Africa
The Standard Bank of South Africa is an innovator in community outreach. It has extended banking to countless underserved residents of that country, and has inspired many around the world to explore broader notions of what innovation can mean.
Just a few years ago, thousands of South Africans were no longer unbanked as a result of Standard Bank’s implementation of AccessPoints around the country, via SMS technology running on the SAP Mobile Platform.
Countless life-changing stories emerged as a result of the groundbreaking technology, including that of a sandal salesman named Boitumelo who logs over 20 miles per day visiting prospective customers on his bicycle. Readers of SCN might remember his story within a feature that took a look at how the transformative power of technology has impacted the lives of individuals around the globe.
Before he was able to access his personalized Standard Bank AccessAccount not far from his home, Boitumelo was forced to travel three hours every week to a bill paying center – a journey that cost him over 30% of his weekly earnings. Those days are now long behind him.
Standard Bank is also focusing on early-learning opportunities in an effort to enhance education and unlock future talent. The company recently donated five mobile classrooms, known as Edutainers, to daycare centers from the Eastern Cape to Gauteng. An Edutainer is a colorful mobile classroom made from a 40-foot shipping container that is ideal for preschool classrooms of up to 25 children. It’s all part of the bank’s ongoing commitment to education in South Africa, a commitment that has already reached about 120,000 young students across the country.
While it remains dedicated to helping children, Standard Bank recently realized that it had some learning and growing to do itself, according to Willie Stegman, the CIO of Standard Bank of South Africa.
“We needed to unravel complexity, revealing one true simple view of our customers, as well as introduce a new platform and new processes to make it easier for our customers to engage with us. And we believe the partnership with SAP as well as SAP Service and Support offerings allowed us to do that. It was very important for us to get a true single view of our customer. We took 23 partner systems and 35 million customer profiles and migrated all of that data into the SAP Customer Relationship Management application.”
Mr. Stegman also believes that the solution will help Standard Bank achieve its goals for the future. With the data migration service for core banking and SAP CRM powered by SAP HANA, he fully expects to see benefits thanks to real-time analytics. He predicts that these benefits will include a return on equity of 20%, as well as continued double-digit earnings growth.
According to Mr. Stegman, achieving a single view of the customer provides Standard Bank with a competitive advantage while meeting regulatory requirements. It also helps the bank understand its customers better, helping it figure out what specific products and services to offer them. In short, the bank is now confident that it can be there when it matters the most to its customers.
Greater financial inclusion and literacy are major challenges still facing South Africa as the country celebrates its 20th year of democracy. Standard Bank is committed to addressing these challenges with the best available technology, and believes that investments for greater financial inclusion and education are the best ways to secure South Africa’s economic future.
Likewise, SAP continues to be a driving technological force behind financial inclusion around the globe. As a result, both organizations are seeking to unlock the possibilities of what can happen when technology and social commitment make what was once complicated now Run Simple.