Standard Chartered Bank today opened its Africa eXellerator innovation hub in Kenya to support and work with fintechs in the country and across Africa. The hub will also serve as a platform to drive innovation and develop new business models for the continent.

The hub, it’s first in Africa furthers adds to the Bank’s other eXellerator labs located in Singapore, Hong Kong, London and San Francisco.

Powered by SC Ventures, the Bank’s innovation, ventures and investment unit, the Africa eXellerator lab has been established at the Bank’s Kenya head office in Chiromo, Nairobi.

Speaking during the launch, Standard Chartered Kenya’s Chief Executive Officer, Kariuki Ngari, said “We are a connector bank – connecting clients, markets and products with networks and facilitating trade and investment across our global footprint across some of the fastest growing markets. We are establishing an innovation centre in Kenya – the Africa eXellerator lab, to develop better products and services for our clients.’’

For example, Kariuki said the hub will focus on developing solutions in artificial intelligence, cyber security and ‘Banking Made Easy’, to ensure they provide the best possible services to their clients.

Speaking at the same launch event, Global Head, SC Ventures, Alex Manson, said: “Banking is all about serving clients in the way they want to be served. We are rewiring the DNA in banking both in and outside the Bank, including an extended team of partners as good ideas and great execution come from everywhere. Our eXellerators provide the tools and environment to develop, experiment and validate new ideas and business models emerging from both our own intrapreneurs and our partners.”

“The Africa eXellerator’s key mission according to SC Ventures’ Africa Region Lead, Kennedy Mubita, is to generate value by emulating intrapreneurial, human-centred and technology skills across the Bank’s franchise in Africa. ‘’The high digital adoption rate and vibrant fintech ecosystem, coupled with our strong client franchise, make for an exciting landscape for client co-creation, partnerships and innovation in Kenya, which will have applications across the Africa region,” he said.

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