Standard Bank’s new ‘Shyft’ app – a foreign exchange mobile wallet - ran with the bulls and was awarded a Bronze international award in the Most Disruptive Innovation category, at the 2016 Efma–Accenture Distribution & Marketing Innovation Awards held in Barcelona last night.
Through the Shyft app, customers can buy a number of different currencies at a live rate, store the funds in eWallets, and then make purchases using either the physical or virtual cards capability, or make international transfers using the cross border payments capability.
Taking Foreign Exchange into the digital era
“This digital solution transforms the way individuals currently experience foreign exchange. It takes away the need to complete cumbersome paperwork and stand in queues to make foreign exchange transactions,” says Arno von Helden, Shyft Product Manager and Head of Trade and Forex for Personal, Business and Commercial Banking at Standard Bank.
Shyft is however, not just the digitisation of forex it also provides an element of control over when and where an individual buys foreign exchange.
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“Shyft’s success is in putting the customer’s needs at the centre of the product development, continues Mr. von Helden. “What makes the product disruptive is that it’s not just about the bank. The collaborations between FinTech’s and traditional banking are incredibly powerful tools that help us as an organisation leverage the best of what’s available in the world today, from a technological point of view, directly to our customers”.
Winning a bronze Efma Award
“Having competed against some of the best global and innovative apps, winning a bronze Efma Award is a true validation of the hard work and effort that has gone into changing the foreign exchange experience that customers have always endured on a day-to-day basis,” says von Helden.
The bank’s foreign exchange solution was up against Santander (UK), SolarisBank (Germany), Alior Bank (Poland), Original Bank (Brazil) and First National Bank (South Africa) in the Most Disruptive Innovation category.
This award is not the only award that Standard Bank ran for. “S#IFT”, an employee-lead generation solution was also nominated in the Efma Salesforce Change Management category; Artificial Intelligence for Cash-In-Transit Route Optimisation had also been nominated in the Big Data, Analytics & AI category and the Standard Bank-powered WeChat Wallet was nominated in the Payments & Wallets category.
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Selected from 460 case studies submitted by over 200 financial institutions in 61 countries, the Efma committee placed Standard Bank’s solutions in the final selection because they met with the three required criteria, i.e. theoriginality of the innovation, the impact it is having on the industry, and how adaptable it is for use in other markets and countries.
During the awards ceremony, each nominee presented a five-minute address to demonstrate their innovations to an audience of more than 200 banking executives, plus a further 1 000+ online viewers watching the broadcast live. The live vote accounted for 50% of the final result.
“We take pride in this award as it means our investment and hard work is paying off and being recognised on the world innovation stage, which is in itself an immense achievement,” concludes von Helden.