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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Nigerian banking future hinges on tech disruptions, says Ecobank chief

The future of Nigerian banking would continue to be shaped by innovations and technology disruptions, while only financial institutions that are amenable to such transformation will remain relevant in the sector, chief executive of Ecobank Nigeria Patrick Akinwuntan has said.

Akinwuntan, who spoke at the just concluded 13th annual banking conference in Abuja stated that there was no way banks can remain competitive and relevant without embarking on digital transformation.

He noted that banking has come to represent ‘what you do’ without necessarily referring to a particular location.

Read also: Nigeria Is Committed To Boost Investment In Digital Economy ~VP

“There is massive disruptions in the banking space and this is good for the sector. Take a second look at the evolution in the use of cards in ATM and PoS today and its interoperability, USSD, agency banking, blockchain, cryptocurrency and others.

“The sector is being democratized for full participation. What about the mobile phone which was essentially for receiving calls but today every Nigeria can make transactions on their phones using the mobile app, or the USSD string. The whole idea is bringing financial services to every household so that we can all participate effectively in the growth of the largest economy in Africa,” Akinwuntan said.

Akinwuntan who was speaking on “Innovations and disruptions: How Fintechs are defining our future at the 13th annual banking and finance conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) pointed out that Fintechs are making impacts in the financial services.

Access Bank Executive Director, Information & Operations, Ade Bajomo in his speech said the emergence of Fintechs startups is threatening to displace incumbents with innovative solutions, noting that digital transformation was no longer optional as companies can no longer stay relevant and compete with others than going through digital transformation process.

He said the journey from the industrial age into the information age, more specifically the birth of internet, has unlocked unprecedented disruption of business models.

“Digital disruption will hit every industry; it is what you make of it that counts. Fintechs are instrumental to closing the financial inclusion gap. Regulation is key to building the desired Fintech ecosystem. Cybersecurity will be one of the top risks facing financial institutions, upskilling and reskilling is key. Any bank that doesn’t have an online platform will struggle to survive the pandemic,“ Bajomo said.

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