Standard Bank – a partnership of equals

Standard Bank – a partnership of equals


Consolidate 24 distinct sites all with different technology, methodology, systems and processes.


3 Consolidated sites with integrated technologies and methodologies.

“I have had the opportunity to engage with Merchants over the years, on a number of different initiatives. When tasked with investigating a broader contact centre strategy for emerging Africa, they were a natural first port of call. What impressed me the most, especially when dealing with such a broad brief, was the collaborative approach employed to really understand our needs and the strategic imperatives at play. Once this was refined, and with specific deliverables agreed, their resources were rapidly deployed in-country and the output of this work was certainly a first for contact centre’s looking outside of South Africa. The work was undertaken with what I have come to take as standard for Merchants, namely the willingness to go the extra mile, a wealth of contact centre insights brought to bear in a professional manner.”

– Head of Electronic Channels, Standard Bank Africa ​


Standard Bank has established itself as a leader in banking technology in South Africa. They deliver services through more than 1 000 points of representation. Standard Bank also services 18 sub-Saharan countries and 21 countries on other continents, including the key financial centers of Europe, the United States and Asia.


Standard Bank South Africa undertook an initiative to consolidate and streamline their contact centres. Prior to the initiative there were 24 distinct sites each with their own technology, systems, processes and methodology. This meant that there was little room to leverage between the sites or capitalize on economies of scale. For the customer the result was too many touch points and an inconsistent service.

In 2004 Standard Bank South Africa decided to partner with Merchants to evaluate and execute on a consolidation plan. The first stage was to better understand the make-up and functions at each of the centres. To do this a benchmarking exercise was undertaken where all centers across the country completed audit questions and were visited for validation. This highlighted many areas of duplication and opportunities for cost savings, in managing business risk and improving the customer experience.

Merchants then continued to work with Standard Bank to develop and execute the consolidation strategy and sound business case based on the benchmarking findings.​


The key initiatives to achieving the strategy were:

  • Building of a new state of the art contact centre to allow for load balancing
  • Development of process driven CRM solution to incorporate multiple business lines
  • Restructure of call centre organisation including recruitment and management of staff
  • Implementation of learning-based training
  • Move towards a sales culture
  • Standardised MIS
  • Improved productivity and customer satisfaction


Over a 24 month period the strategy was executed and Standard Bank South Africa had restructured their call contact centre operations to achieve all of the above resulting in an award winning contact centre capable of supporting them for the future.​​

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