Standard Chartered Bank has disclosed that it will close 50 percent of its branches in Nigeria to focus on digital banking. The bank debuted in Nigeria in 1999.

According to a report by Bloomberg News, the Nigerian subsidiary started closing down some offices in December and may drop it from 25 to 13 branches.

The report further revealed that the bank concluded the plans due to the pressure from mobile money providers and part of the company’s strategy to join other First Bank and Zenith Bank in agent banking.

Standard Chartered Bank is aiming at strengthening its mobile banking services and recruiting agents to reach new customers and handle cash deposits and withdrawals across the country.

Nigerian banks are currently embracing digital banking to compete with fintech products across Africa and tap into the outbreak of mobile money services.

In Nigeria presently, there is strong competition in the banking industry. Besides the mainstream fintechs disrupting the banking space, Mobile Network Operators have been issued licenses by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to run mobile money businesses in the country. As such, traditional banks are having to establish fintech divisions to keep up with the innovative momentum of the fintechs and mobile money operators.

Musa Suleiman
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