About the Local Yokel Project
March 29, 2020
Good News Stories, 2020-01 Edition
March 29, 2020

ON THE COVER | STANDARD BANK uses AI to connect local businesses with trade opportunities abroad

South African companies that have become multinational success stories demonstrate that local businesses can prosper abroad.  While the prospect of diversifying into new markets is an exciting part of an entrepreneur’s journey, it is also a daunting one.
Any South African company that wishes to do cross-border trade is required to consider the various risks and benefits attached to the markets in which they are looking to operate. With this in mind, Standard Bank has launched the Trade Club platform to help its business clients across sub-Saharan Africa find opportunity in global markets.
The platform is an exclusive online marketplace that consists of 15 trusted member banks and about 15 000 pre-vetted customers from over 190 countries.
These countries include the United States, Spain, Brazil, China, Egypt, Senegal, Cameroon, Gabon and Côte d’Ivoire.  Through Trade Club, business owners can network with individuals and explore opportunities that different markets have to offer. Manipulate this information to find relevant buyers and sellers.

 When members join, they create a business card with all their business interests – in other words, items they buy or sell. There is an Artificial Intelligence algorithm on the platform that manipulates this information to find relevant buyers and sellers. Everything that business clients need to know about trade – import/export flows, customs, shipping and market analysis – is readily available on this portal.
Through its long-established presence in various countries, Standard Bank has sight of eligible markets to do business with and can tell whether they boast benefits such as tax incentives.
Furthermore, members of Standard Bank’s Trade Club can take advantage of the bank’s knowledge of import and export structures and infrastructure in different countries.
The launch of the Trade Club platform is part of the bank’s wider efforts to support growth throughout the African continent. One way to do this is to help local businesses grow.
With the relevant tools, local businesses can grow and scale their business into sizeable entities. This spurs job creation, which will facilitate wider economic growth on the African continent.
We, the Standard Bank Buffalo City Team, pride ourselves on really understanding the market we operate in. We make sure that we are constantly interacting with our clients and our communities, not only to help us remain relevant in the market, but also to provide great service and tailor-made solutions that have become necessary in this rapidly changing business environment.
How we conduct ourselves every single day, when we engage directly or indirectly with our clients, is at the heart of our purpose and vital to achieving our plans.  Everything that we do matters, and what we do should always link back to the Standard Bank values we live by and be supported by our principles and ethics. 
Our Business Banking and Commercial Banking Relationship teams have a vast amount of experience. If you need to discuss any aspect of your business, we would value the opportunity to meet with you and talk. Call Mark Currin, Standard Bank Buffalo City Catchment Head, on 083 414 4552.