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Standard Bank creates digital solutions for Africa trade challenges
Community Coordinator



An increase in export and import activity across Africa regions will go a long way towards igniting economic growth on the continent. The reality, however, is that the continent’s share of global trade stands at only 3% despite accounting for 11% of the world’s population.


For this to be corrected, we need to remove the common constraints to trade that prevent small- to medium-sized business in Africa from taking advantage of growth-enhancing opportunities on the continent and beyond.


Standard Bank has developed digital solutions that are easy to access, simplify the trade process and reduce high costs associated with trade for SMEs across Africa regions.


For example, an entrepreneur who wants to expand operations into other markets may not possess the knowledge to find trusted suppliers or buyers. This is where Standard Bank’s Trade Club becomes particularly useful.


Available to business clients of Standard Bank at no cost, this innovative digital networking platform connects buyers and sellers from 50 countries around the world. Trade Club gives SMEs and corporate clients a wealth of relevant international trade expertise, tools and services, as well as the opportunity to connect with trusted partners in new markets.


Once a business becomes an exporter or importer of a certain product or service, they need to prepare for transacting using international currencies. This can be difficult in Africa where many countries have strict foreign exchange controls or in China where there is limited acceptance of Visa and Mastercard cards.


In a bid to solve this challenge, Standard Bank launched the Shyft forex app, which allows anyone with a Standard Bank account to buy foreign currency and store forex of up to R1 million in forex per year.


The app takes the pain out of foreign currency exchange, which typically requires having to physically visit a bank branch, by allowing customers to make transfers on the app at any time of the day, seven days a week, from anywhere in the world at a competitive rate.


From a country-specific perspective, in Uganda, we launched a platform in partnership with Traydstream, which has digitized the manual process of vetting letters of trade checks.


Traydstream’s one-stop-shop for processing enables business clients in Uganda to speed up processing time, mitigate risk with thorough trade checks as well as improve the transparency of transactions through an aggregated compliance module.


It is very interesting article. I didn't know that African's global trade stands at only 3%. I wish so situation improve in the future. I thinik Traydstream is a good idea. We live in ages of technologies.So, I wish prosperity for Africa


As I know, Africa really has big problems in economics. Yes, it would be nice if constraints to trade could be removed. No doubts, Standard Bank found good solutions. It is nice that we live in the digital ages. But as for me, best of all to combine technologies with real people and real experience. I work in the business sphere for 7 years yet. I’ve begun as an entrepreneur and I had a lot of issues from the beginning. Now I’ve earned some experience but in any way, I understand that you can not build good business without a good accountant. So, one day I found out a great web page and since then my life became more comfortable. APM Accountants is a company which consists of audits and accountants with great work experience. I hope my advice will be good and for those who try to make business in Africa. For those who try to improve economics on this continent. I sincerely wish prosperity for Africa.