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StanChart to launch digital-only bank in Ivory Coast

Standard Chartered is launching its first digital-only retail bank in Ivory Coast. The bank intends to use the west African country as a testing ground for a global launch of digital services. The bank does not have a physical presence in Ivory Coast but with the digital-only retail bank, it intends to offer clients 70 digital services, including money transfers, bill payments and balance tracking. Ivory Coast has the fifth-highest mobile money penetration in the world. There are an estimated 9.8 million mobile money accounts in the country registered with telecoms companies, including MTN of South Africa, Orange of France, and Moov, a subsidiary of Etisalat, and technology platforms, such as Celpaid and Quash Services. Standard Chartered will be partnering with Didier Drogba, the country’s most famous football player, who will sign up to be the first customer of the digital bank. Sunil Kaushal, chief executive for Africa and Middle East of Standard Chartered said this rollout in Ivory Coast is part of a much wider strategy to capture the digital initiative. He added that this is not just a client-facing digital app, but the automated services would allow it to run a bank with between one-seventh and one-fifth the staff.

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