Standard Chartered partners with Microsoft to become a 'cloud-first' bank

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Standard Chartered partners with Microsoft to become a 'cloud-first' bank

Standard Chartered has announced a three-year partnership with Microsoft in a bid to accelerate the emerging market-focused bank's digital transformation through a cloud-first strategy.

The partnership was hailed as "a significant milestone for Standard Chartered" in making its vision for virtual banking, next-generation payments, open banking and banking-as-a-service a reality. Leveraging Azure as a preferred cloud platform, the two companies will also co-innovate in open banking and real-time payments to help the bank unlock new banking experiences for clients. 

Standard Chartered will adopt a multicloud approach, where significant applications, including its core banking and trading systems and new digital ventures such as virtual banking and banking as-a-service, will be cloud-based by 2025, subject to regulatory approvals. The bank will also adopt a cloud-first principle for all new software developments and major enhancements.

Cloud is a cornerstone of Standard Chartered's strategy to meet the present and future banking needs of our clients."

As technology reshapes the banking industry, Standard Chartered recognizes that a cloud-first strategy is critical to the bank's ambition to make banking simpler, faster and more convenient. By being digital-first, the bank will be able to meet the demand for seamless banking virtually anytime, anywhere, and make banking more accessible to people across its network.

Michael Gorriz, group chief information officer of Standard Chartered, 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."

"As disruption in the financial industry continues, we can focus on client benefits by deploying our solutions quicker and allowing for faster integration of new business models and partners. To realize our digital ambitions, Standard Chartered has chosen Microsoft as a strategic partner and this partnership marks a major milestone for the bank in adopting a cloud-first approach."

Bhupendra Warathe, chief technology officer, Cloud Transformation at Standard Chartered, added, "The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the need for businesses and banks to be resilient from a risk mitigation, cost and security perspective. With the increasing trend of an always-on digital economy, commercial and consumer clients are looking for applications and services that empower them to do online banking from anywhere, flexibly and efficiently.

"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." 

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.