By tapping into Microsoft Azure as a preferred cloud platform, Microsoft and Standard Chartered Bank have agreed to jointly innovate in open banking and real-time payments


Standard Chartered Group Headquarters, London. (Credit: Cobaltblue25/Wikipedia.)

Standard Chartered Bank has signed a three-year deal with Microsoft for accelerating its digital transformation to achieve its goal of becoming a cloud-first bank.

The partnership is expected to help the British financial services company to introduce virtual banking, next-generation payments, open banking, and banking-as-a-service concepts.

Standard Chartered Bank to leverage Microsoft Azure as preferred cloud platform

By tapping into Microsoft Azure as a preferred cloud platform, the partners have agreed to jointly innovate in open banking and real-time payments to help the banking group bring in new banking experiences for clients.

Microsoft Azure is expected to address the bank’s requirement for resilient data centers and cloud services and for meeting the security, privacy and compliance requirements of customers.

Standard Chartered Bank’s trade finance systems will be among the first set of capabilities to migrate to Microsoft Azure, thereby enabling seamless cross-border trade for the corporate and institutional clients of the bank.

Microsoft Azure’s artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics capabilities will also be used by the bank for improving and automating banking processes and also for providing hyper-personalisation of its client products and experiences.

As part of the partnership, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams will offer modern productivity and collaboration tools to the bank’s 84,000 employees across its 60 markets.

Standard Chartered Bank chief technology officer Bhupendra Warathe said: “The speed and scale of continuous innovation offered by Azure allows us to innovate with the latest AI services to meet evolving client needs. We can pilot new apps in one market and scale them rapidly across others.

“This is especially important for a bank with a footprint as broad and diverse as ours.”

Standard Chartered Bank, as part of its digital transformation, plans to adopt a multicloud approach. Under these, significant applications of the bank such as core banking and trading systems and new digital ventures like virtual banking and banking-as-a-service, will be cloud-based by the year 2025, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals.

The British banking group will also look to adopt a cloud-first principle for all new software developments and major improvements.

According to the partners, a cloud-first strategy is key to the bank’s goal of simplifying banking and making it faster and more convenient.

Furthermore, by being digital-first, Standard Chartered Bank expects to be in a position to cope up with the demand for seamless banking irrespective of the time and location, and also for making its services more accessible to people across its network.

Standard Chartered Bank group chief information officer Michael Gorriz said: “Cloud is a cornerstone of Standard Chartered’s strategy to meet the present and future banking needs of our clients.

“Cloud providers have invested massively in the reliability and automation of infrastructure and platforms. Using cloud services improves our ability to be agile and innovative, while increasing our operational efficiency and resilience.”