Stanbic Bank simplifies trade with new digital platformThorpe said compared to the traditional manual processes, with Quantum Trade everything from application to issuance is fully digitalized, enhancing speed and transparency.
Stanbic Bank Uganda (SBU) has reduced the red tape involved with carrying out international trade by introducing ‘Quantum Trade’, an end-to-end digitalized platform that enables customers to access within a few hours Import Letters of Credit and Domestic Guarantees.
Bank officials say the new online platform will facilitate trade and allow customers receive products in a quick and timely manner. With the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, face-to-face interactions have been reduced and international travel restricted. However trade must must go on, and hence the need for more digital solutions.
Tunde Thorpe, Head of Transactional Products and Service at SBU, said compared to the traditional manual processes, with Quantum Trade everything from application to issuance is fully digitalized, enhancing speed and transparency.
“The trade platform can be accessed by any client who wishes to apply for a letter of credit or Guarantee from the bank. We have designed the platform to cater for two pathways taking account of differences in frequency of usage by clients.
“The platform is encouraged for clients with frequent or high volume of Import LC and or Domestic Guarantee requirements. However, an alternative path exists for clients with occasional need for LCs and/or Guarantees, which doesn’t require the full onboarding process, and termed a walk-in path,” Thorpe said.
He said to access the platform, clients have to first pre-register then proceed to access the platform via the online portal. This can be done from the comfort of clients’ offices or homes. They can complete their application, download, print, and have the same delivered to the nearest branch for the necessary checks. He said the application process is intuitive, easy to complete and can be done within a few minutes.
For either path, the first step would be for clients to contact their relationship manager or the nearest branch. But being fully digitalized platform, customers can remotely access the service with minimal manual intervention, as well as real time tracking of application status, supported by prompt email notifications.
Thorpe said, “Quantum Trade also brings an element of data analytics to bear. Leveraging on client transaction history on the platform, the system is able to present pre-populated offers for application to the client, thus saving time and effort. There is a lot more visibility and transparency around transaction costs, giving clients a view of transaction costs per application.”
In addition, users will have access to our Trade Club Platform to complement their business activities by affording them an opportunity to interact with other business people across the globe.
He said, “Quantum Trade’s contribution towards the county’s economic growth is hinged primarily on facilitating trade, including foreign trade, which according to World Bank figures accounts for 48.2 % of Uganda’s GDP, in a simple efficient manner.”
Thorpe said the convenience and efficiency that the platform brings to the Domestic Application process helps put clients in a better position to vie for such opportunities, as they are able to meet up with some of the requirements more promptly.
The digital nature of transactions consummated on Quantum Trade, creates a data footprint of sorts, which can be harnessed in future to garner insights that can be used for the betterment of the economy, of course subject to the provisions of the data privacy laws.