Standard Bank says its technology staff costs increased by 10% over the last year as it moves to bolster its tech skills base.
In its annual results for the year ended 31 December 2021, the bank said it was specifically looking to bolster its skills base in key areas such as cloud, cyber security and data science.
The group added that it plans to increasingly use these technologies to assist with attracting customers and offering new services.
“The application of data science and artificial intelligence-enabled personalised client conversations which supported better client interaction and good growth on digital platforms,” it said in its annual report.
“In 2021, digital adoption increased by 22% mainly via the Standard bank Group mobile app, and engagements through the cellphone banking platform grew by 40%. 85% of the new-to-bank clients in 2021 were digitally registered.”
The group added that it plans to accelerate digital client engagements over the coming year, as well as leverage data science and artificial intelligence capabilities, to provide relevant and meaningful personalised client conversations at scale across the continent.
A technological shift
South African businesses are already seeing AI-based automation being deployed in digital and communication spaces, with this trend set to continue over the coming year, Michael Daniels, head of group automation and shared capabilities at Standard Bank told BusinessTech in January.
Daniels said that two of the most common ways that businesses are engaging with automation are through chatbots, and automated email, and web-based services.
“Designed to carry out basic functions, such as addressing customer queries and data-related requests, companies can ‘train’ chatbots to respond to specific statements and questions based on interactions determined by the specific product and service offerings of a business.”
Daniels said there will also be the need for jobs that are required to keep the automation processes running smoothly.
“Coding, programming, and IT-related skills will become even more valuable, and an expansion of the field will result in different employment opportunities,” he said.