Singapore–Redmond, USA: Standard Chartered Bank and Microsoft sign a three-year key partnership to push the bank’s digital transformation through a cloud-first strategy.
For Standard Chartered this is a very crucial tie-up in its vision for virtual banking, next-generation payments, open banking and banking-as-a-service a reality.
While Standard Chartered will leverage Azure cloud, both the companies have decided to co-innovate in open banking and real-time payments to help the bank in creating new banking experiences for clients.
Embarking on a cloud-first strategy
As part of its digital transformation, the bank will adopt a multi-cloud approach. Under the approach, its core banking and trading systems and new digital ventures like virtual banking and banking as-a-service will be cloud-based by 2025, subject to regulatory approvals. It will also adopt a cloud-first principle for all new software developments and major enhancements.
Standard Chartered recognizes that a cloud-first strategy is critical to the bank’s ambition to make banking simpler, faster and more convenient.
By being digital-first, the bank will be able to meet the demand for seamless banking virtually anytime, anywhere, and make banking more accessible to people across its network.
“Cloud is a cornerstone of Standard Chartered’s strategy to meet the present and future banking needs of our clients. Cloud providers have invested massively in the reliability and automation of infrastructure and platforms,” said Michael Gorriz, Group CIO – Standard Chartered.
“Using cloud services improves our ability to be agile and innovative, while increasing our operational efficiency and resilience. To realize our digital ambitions, Standard Chartered has chosen Microsoft as a strategic partner and this partnership marks a major milestone for the bank in adopting a cloud-first approach,” added Gorriz.
“With the increasing trend of an always-on digital economy, commercial and consumer clients are looking for applications and services that empower them to do online banking from anywhere, flexibly and efficiently,” said Bhupendra Warathe, CTO – Cloud Transformation, Standard Chartered.
“The speed and scale of continuous innovation offered by Azure allows us to innovate with the latest AI services to meet evolving client needs. We can pilot new apps in one market and scale them rapidly across others. This is especially important for a bank with a footprint as broad and diverse as ours,” added Warathe.
Standard Chartered will adopt Microsoft Azure as a preferred cloud platform to meet the bank’s need for resilient datacentres and cloud services and addressing customers’ security, privacy and compliance requirements across the bank’s global footprint.
Standard Chartered’s trade finance systems will first move to Microsoft Azure allowing a seamless cross-border trade for the bank’s corporate and institutional clients.
The partnership will also advance the bank’s digital workplace transformation with Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams providing modern productivity and collaboration tools to Standard Chartered’s 84,000 employees across its 60 markets.
Co-innovating the future of banking
Standard Chartered will also use Microsoft Azure artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics capabilities to enhance and automate banking processes as well as deliver hyper personalization of its client products and experiences. Co-innovation in open banking application programming interface (API) and Internet-of-Things-based, real-time payments will also help the bank unlock new banking experiences for clients.
“Cloud computing is an enabler for financial institutions to modernize their infrastructure and systems, to gain the agility they need to respond to competitive pressures, regulatory environments and customer demand,” said Bill Borden, Corporate VP – Worldwide Financial Services, Microsoft.
“We are committed to helping Standard Chartered Bank in its ongoing digital transformation journey as it strives to address evolving customer needs and build the next generation of banking experiences,” added Borden.
Addressing the social needs
Standard Chartered strives to understand the evolving needs of its communities and be an enabler for change. As a part of the strategic partnership, the bank and Microsoft will explore sustainable finance and business initiatives to expand sustainability across the industry.