BBD’s CEO and Executive Director on driving digital transformation and improving customer experience for Standard Bank

A global software engineering company, BBD celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2024. It specialises in complex software solutions and delivery driven digital transformation for corporate and government organisations. Financial is one of the biggest sectors it serves while also focusing on customer experience. The business has offices in India as well as offices and clients across Europe. Today, BBD is heavily weighted towards its South African client base. It history within the country and the way banking and technology have evolved is a big factor.

CEO Kevin Staples and Executive Director Matthew Barnard are proud of the way BBD’s humble beginnings have shaped the organisation. The company was started in a small room with just one computer, and three ambitious founders creating code in eight-hour shifts. “I think it speaks to how we, as a company, solve problems,” says Barnard.

A complex landscape

A theme we explored in our Standard Bank profile is that South Africa is both technologically and culturally complex. Standard Bank itself operates in more than 19 African countries. Delivering and providing world-class service across all of them is challenging – but it comes with opportunities. For BBD, digital transformation is all about risk assessment and planning, because it’s natural for things to go wrong. 

“Partnering closely with clients allows us to plan. We can figure out exactly how we’re able to get traction despite any internal constraints that are occurring,” says Staples. “We’ve worked with some of our clients for 15, 20 years,” Barnard adds, “so we get to know their people, processes, and technology as well as they do. Part of us ends up really embedded within our client, allowing us to really make a difference to customer experience from the inside-out.”

BBD & Standard Bank

When it comes to BBD’s relationship with Standard Bank, it’s been a long road empowering the bank with consistent improvements. Historically, customers of the bank were stuck with manual processes they struggled with. That’s why Standard Bank opted to digitally transform the customer’s experience of trade finance products. 

“It’s what the program set out to do,” says Staples. “We started this particular project about five years ago. BBD was very involved in the initial ideation and design of the customers’ experience and was the primary partner responsible for building and maintaining the solution.”

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