Wholesale banking clients in South Africa and across the continent now have an online platform that gives them access to a host of digital solutions that go beyond traditional banking.
In June, Johannesburg-based Standard Bank officially launched OneHub, a digital platform that helps the bank’s clients and partners interact. OneHub gives clients access to eight built-in solutions (and growing) along with six APIs, all with one password.
“It’s a single portal that provides an interaction point for clients, staff, and partners, where we connect them with a set of curated digital assets,” says Jonathan Lamb, Standard Bank’s head of platform business.
Standard Bank recognized the difficulty large organizations can have in implementing new technology, leading them to ask, “How can we make it easier for big business to adopt new tech into their organization faster, easier, and cheaper?” says Lamb. “We want to help our clients on their digital journey and take away some of their pain.”
One of the pain points businesses face are the time-consuming efforts to decide which programs to adopt. “If it’s on our platform it means we’ve curated it. We either use it ourselves to solve the problem or have done the due diligence to make sure that it does what it says it does,” says Lamb.
Citing the “almost pay-for-play model” OneHub makes it easy for large companies to try out new systems. “If it doesn’t work for you, don’t use it,” says Lamb.
“We’re not a traditional financial services company. We want to go beyond traditional banking solutions,” says Lamb. One example of that is helping clients to digitize previously manual actions such as opening a new account.
One of the services offered on OneHub is iiDENTIFii, a biometric identity verification system. To ensure that a person is who they claim to be, the customer submits a selfie image. iiDENTIFii’s 3D facial recognition software compares that to the image on an official identity document and then triangulates those with other government databases.
Standard Bank was already familiar with the South African-based iiDENTIFii, having used it for its own transactions. “We turned them from a vendor to a partner,” says Lamb.
Other features on the platform include PowerPulse, Standard Bank’s platform for accelerating the adoption and implementation of renewable energy solutions in Africa, AUTHENTIFI, a data collection and analytics program, and One Developer, offering six APIs with a variety of pricing plans to fit any client’s needs.
Poised for growth
“Our goal is to become the leading business-to- business solution and API marketplace on the continent,” says Lamb, with an aggressive target of achieving that goal within three years.