British multinational banking and financial services company, Standard Chartered Plc is closing about half its Nigerian branches as it navigates towards digital banking. The headquartered London disclosed that it has already started shutting some offices in December and will eventually operate only 13 from about 25 branches in Nigeria.
The financial service provider further added that it will be strengthening its mobile banking services and recruit agents to reach new customers and handle cash deposits and withdrawals across the country; that is instead of opening more physical branches, it will be building networks of authorized agents just like most Nigerian banks.
The new focus of Standard Chartered Bank is a reflection of efforts by Nigerian banks to embrace digital banking amid a fintech boom that has put much of Africa on the cutting edge of the revolution in mobile money.
The financial technology space in Nigeria has become quite a competitive subsector in the economy with a reported 250 companies in the system.