Standard Bank can now receive, process and approvea business loan in the time it takes to listen to the average song. File Photo: IOL

CAPE TOWN – Standard Bank Group announced on Wednesday the have become the first commercial bank in South Africa, and across Africa, to give a business working capital loan up to R6 million in just 3 minutes. 

The lender said in a statement that this new capability allowed for an application to be received, processed and approved all in the time it takes to listen to the average song.

The bank said this was a massive leap forward as an applicant previously had to wait up to a month for the facility to originate. “Not only is this good news for enterprise development but is yet another proof point that Standard Bank is aggressively transforming its overall Business Banking proposition.”

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Funeka Montjane, chief executive, personal and business banking South Africa at Standard Bank Group said this new capability could not have come at a better time for business banking customers. 

“The bank sees the highest loan requests during the month of November for bonus and year end expenditure. This also extends to January for starting the year operations and February/March for paying SARS obligations,” said Montjane.

According to Stats SA, the entire formal business sector generated R2.39 trillion in turnover in the first quarter of 2019. Out of this amount, large businesses contributed 62 percent, followed by small at 29 percent and medium sized businesses at 10 percent. 

“Standard Bank has always and continues to create new innovations for businesses. Africa is our home; we drive her growth and the main way to do that is by growing businesses so that employment and economic activity can grow. But to grow the businesses, we need to help them with their biggest pain point which is to give them working capital when they need it,” said Montjane.

The Standard Bank Group’s diversification strategy across the continent paid off in the first half of the year, as South Africa continues to face low economic growth with ongoing uncertainty weighing on business confidence, spending and investment. 

Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank by assets, reported a 6 percent increase in headline earnings to R13.36 billion and return on equity of 16.2 percent for the six months to end June, driven by the strong underlying momentum in its core operations.

BUSINESS REPORT