Standard Bank to open branches inside Pick n Pay stores
Standard Bank is building in-store branches in select Pick n Pay stores, making it the second bank to piggyback on the retail giant's presence across South Africa.
Londiwe Buthelezi | Fin24
In 2019 TymeBank partnered with Pick n Pay to house its over 700 kiosks which has helped the digital bank onboard customers and print their bank cards, giving it some sort of physical presence across the country.
Standard Bank said its new branches will only be at selected Pick n Pay stores in the Western Cape and Gauteng. They will have a space for consultations, as well as a more private area for in-depth discussions, and will be manned by Standard Bank employees.
The bank has already opened its first instore Pick n Pay branch last month in Richmond, Western Cape. It is a 6m² branch and Standard Bank said it was very well received by customers.
The instore branches will offer services like opening accounts, debit order disputes, changing banking limits, changing PINs and getting bank confirmation letters. Accounts that people can open in these branches include Standard Bank's entry level transactional and savings accounts, funeral plans and unsecured loans.
Although Standard Bank offers many of these services through its digital channels, it looks like the bank is trying to bridge the digital divide by making themselves available in supermarkets.
The bank said this move is part of its commitment to broaden access to all South Africans, and what better way than bringing a bank where they shop?
"Our philosophy is to create banking solutions that reach clients in the way that works for them," said Standard Bank's CEO of consumer and high net worth client segments, Funeka Montjane.
Montjane said bank branches have undergone a major shift in the last decade. Millions of people don't recall when last they set a foot in one. But in the lower end of the market, people still visit branches just to manage their accounts and to do changes that could be done on a banking app
Montjane feels that having smaller branches inside Pick n Pay gives Standard Bank the benefit of the human touch because there is still a real need for face-to-face banking even in this digital age.
"Here we are making it easier, convenient, and bringing a branch to where our clients are," she said.
Pick n Pay's head of omnichannel, John Bradshaw, said extending the retailer's service offering beyond traditional retail products is something the company identified as an opportunity long before most of its peers. It made sense to it to get into these kinds of partnerships because customers are increasingly looking for accessibility and convenience.
"We are delighted at this new opportunity with Standard Bank. Our customers respond really well to increased convenience, particularly with banking and other financial transactions, and this is taking our offering another major step forward," said Bradshaw.