Although the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is taking roots in almost every segment of the society and even weeding out the chronic rot of file culture in our government organizations, yet the best advantage of the ICT is being enjoyed by the financial sector in Pakistan.
In this respect, the Standard Chartered Bank, Pakistan’s largest international bank is taking a lead with one step ahead in its drive to go digital, by launching the country’s first digital branch in Karachi, is a beginning of a new era in the financial sector.
This branch offers an unprecedented ambience by pioneering the best-in-class digital capabilities in the Pakistani industry. With this launch, Standard Chartered once again combines its international expertise in digital banking with its local knowledge to bring together a unique offering unlike any in the market. Clients can walk into the branch to a unique state-of-the-art iDesk, which displays a host of information for clients to browse, including product promotions, brochures for the complete product suite, branch and ATM directory amongst others. The branch also flaunts an Online Banking kiosk, ATM, CDM and CDK machines, digital product posters, electronic media wall and a touch screen notice board.
Gigital banking vision of standard chartered
Commenting on the launch, Mr. Shazad Dada, Chief Executive, Standard Chartered Pakistan said, “In line with global trends where client preference is continuously shifting towards digital channels as compared to a uni-dimensional brick and mortar setup, Standard Chartered has employed an integrated multi-channel strategy investing heavily in the digital space. Today, we are the market leaders in IBFT transactions through digital channels with the best in class ATM and Online Banking solutions in the industry.”
Standard Chartered today announced its digital banking vision, aimed at enhancing the client experience in Pakistan. This is part of the bank’s global focus on ‘Digitization’ — socializing personal banking and extending clients’ digital lifestyle into banking.
“This branch is poised to revolutionize client experience with digital capabilities,” said Shezad Arif, Head of Retail Clients, Standard Chartered Bank, Pakistan. “Digital solutions are the future of banking and Standard Chartered is leading the way in making digital channels an important and integral part of the way clients bank.”
Standard Chartered has always been at the forefront in launching technology solutions to provide convenience and improve client experience using channels of the future such as the Internet and the mobile phone. Standard Chartered’s mobile banking application, Breeze Mobile, is one of the leading mobile banking applications in the industry in Pakistan and in several other Asian countries.
Standard Chartered has been a front-runner for investing in the digital space in Pakistan. The bank’s digital transactions account for a significant percentage of all transactions done in the bank today. Standard Chartered is the market leader in IBFT transactions via digital channels, along with the best in class net promoter score (NPS) in the industry on alternate channels (ATM, Phone Banking, Internet Banking).
Promotes women entrepreneurship
The cutting edge information technology is being acknowledged as an effective tool for economic empowerment of women by noticeable increase in women entrepreneurship besides breaking away gender discrimination, taboos and social curbs hampering the economic empowerment of women in the society.
“Education and ICT have been the predominant drivers of change in the last century, opening the doors to knowledge, opportunity, and a higher quality of living for people across the globe. In Pakistan, increasing the ICT capabilities of girls and women has the potential to change lives by transforming education, improving health, and reducing infant mortality. Through the discussions held today, we hope to move forward in addressing many of these issues locally to empower a new generation of ICT users,” said Asma Aziz, Intel Pakistan.
A panel discussion hosted by Intel Pakistan featured 6 senior female executives from a range of businesses, including Saeeda Mandviwalla — CEO & Director TONI&GUY, Pakistan, Lubna Lakhani — CEO Raintree Spa, Asma Aziz — PR and Marketing Manager, Pakistan, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka, Salma Jafri — Content Marketing Consultant for Entrepreneurs and team Lead Google Business Groups (GBG) Women, Shazia Mirza – CEO Manzil Foundation, President of Commissioner Karachi’s Youth Team and Zainab Ansari — CEO Xenith Public Relations Pakistan, to discuss ICT’s role in empowering women in Pakistan.
Aimed at increasing a positive dialogue on gender diversity in the technology industry, the session showcased the importance of ICT in enhancing greater diversity within Pakistan’s workforce, and how it can contribute to the country’s GDP.
“Education should be a fundamental right for everyone and at Intel we recognize the major role technology plays in improving both the quality of and access to education, including here in Pakistan. Hopefully through the dialogue established today, we can accelerate action across Pakistan to provide girls and women with opportunities for quality education and personal growth,” said Asma Aziz.
“As a business woman entrepreneur in Pakistan I believe that technology has a massive role to play in enhancing capabilities of the women of Pakistan as it enables them to function within their environmental limitations without comprising on the quality of their work and vision,” said Saeeda Mandviwalla, CEO & President, TONI&GUY.
“As an online entrepreneur, my work is driven by and centers on access to information communication technology. I feel that access to such technology enables self-starters, who need not be entirely dependent on the external economy to grow and thrive. Women, especially, benefit from technological innovation because this gives them an expanded and more flexible playing field to function within,” said Salma Jafri, Content Marketing Consultant and Team Lead Google Business Groups (GBG) Women.
The discussion was attended by key industry professionals from the banking, beauty and personal care, social welfare, IT and corporate service sectors.
Intel’s commitment in closing the gender technology gap
Intel research suggests that while technology plays a growing role in our everyday lives, girls and women are still being left behind, with nearly 25 percent fewer women than men having access to technology. In some regions, the figure can rise to 45 percent, such as in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Intel is committed to providing women with opportunities enabling them to achieve their individual potential and drive change. Aimed at developing countries, in 2013 Intel introduced its ‘She Will Connect’ program. The initiative aims to expand digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries by using a combination of training, an online peer network and gender-relevant content. The program is helping young women acquire and improve their digital literacy skills. Intel was recently recognized by Global Connections for Women Foundation for its continuing commitment and progress made in female empowerment and gender equality.
Intel had announced plans early 2015 to invest $300 million to help build a pipeline of female and under-represented engineers and computer scientists at Intel. Alongside this, Intel launched the Diversity in Technology initiative, which is its goal to achieve a full representation of women at Intel by 2020.