Companies

StanChart upgrading all its ATMs to accept cheque deposits

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A StanChart bank branch in Nairobi. PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm has invested heavily in digitisation including video banking, a strategy that has helped it recruit new customers and cut costs.
  • Currently, it has 138 ATMs and 39 of the machines accept cash and cheque deposits.

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya #ticker:SCBK is upgrading its automated teller machines (ATMs) for all to accept cheque deposits as the lender deepens its digital banking offerings.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm has invested heavily in digitisation including video banking, a strategy that has helped it recruit new customers and cut costs.

Currently, it has 138 ATMs and 39 of the machines accept cash and cheque deposits.

“We are reconfiguring our ATMs so that they can take our cheques … and we are looking to automate our lending and credit card facilities,” StanChart’s chief executive Kariuki Ngari said at the bank’s virtual annual general meeting held on Thursday.

The ATM upgrade will remove the need for customers to visit physical branches and filling forms to deposit cheques.

Automation of cheque processing comes at a time when use of the payment option has stagnated at volumes of 1.4 million and values of about Sh200 billion per month, according to data from Central Bank of Kenya.

The value of a cheque transaction has been capped at Sh1 million in Kenya Shillings since October 2009 to promote use of the real-time gross settlement system (RTGS).

Cheques are vulnerable to fraud and can take up to three days to clear while RTGS offers instantaneous settlement of transactions.

StanChart’s move marks increased capability of ATMs which are taking more functions that were previously only available in face-to-face interactions with bank staff.

The cheque deposit feature will add to the machine’s cash dispensing and cash deposit capabilities.

Mr Ngari said that 90 percent of the bank’s transactions are currently taking place outside the traditional brick-and-mortar branches, with 67 percent of clients being active on digital channels.

“Digital penetration for retail and corporate clients stood at 70 and 94 percent respectively [in the year ended December], up from 60 and 85 percent in 2019,” he said.