Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Fidelity Bank, CWG Offer Insight to Demystify Digital Transactions

As Financial Technology (FinTech) players continue to take advantage of emerging technologies to cause disruptions in the banking sector, Fidelity Bank, one of the leading banks, and CWG Plc, a financial technology solution provider, have offered useful insight on how bank customers could carry out seamless financial transactions, using their mobile devices.
The duo who spoke at a digital payment forum, organised by the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’s Association (NITRA) in Lagos at the weekend, offered useful insights on how bank customers could take advantage of emerging technologies in carrying out fast and convenient financial transactions in a he digital age.

Discussing the implication for technology adoption in the banking sector, the Founder, CWG Plc, who is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Columbia Business School, New York. Mr. Austin Okere, gave insight into what he called the ‘Austin Okere’s Five Forces Model for Analysing the Future of Banking’.Divisional Head, Electronic Banking at Fidelity Bank, Ifeoma Onibuje, gave insight how the bank is making efforts to bank the unbanked, using technology solutions that are flexible and customer friendly. She spoke on the introduction of the Quick Response Code (QR Code), which is a machine readable code, consisting of features used for storing readable information that could be captured and interpreted by the camera on a smartphone device, designed to make digital payment across all channels, relatively easier for the customers. According to her, Fidelity bank is catching up with technology to provide services that will bring on board, all the unbanked in the urban and rural communities, in line with the the financial inclusiveness drive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
According to him, the five models, of adhered to, would address the fears of perceived disruptions caused by FinTech players in the financial sector.
He listed the five models to include: Banks, FinTechs, Regulators, Currencies and Customers.
“Having enjoyed centuries of monopoly, assured by the support of regulation, the traditional banks are beginning to feel threatened by the disruption from FinTechs who are exploiting pent-up customer dissatisfaction and new technologies such as blockchain, coupled with the significant boost in smartphone adoption and pervasive broadband, to disrupt the financial sector. But there are indeed five forces that will define the new face of banking,” Okere said.
Analysing the five forces, Okere said the banks must establish themselves with cash and ancillary instruments, while the Fintechs should consider the best digital currencies and mobile services. He explained that the regulators like the CBN and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), must find ways of regulating traditional banks and the FinTechs respectively, in the areas of traditional currencies such as cash and cheques, or digital, like bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. On the part of the customers, Okere said the weight and force of the new found voice among customers that clamouring for convenience and lower costs of financial transactions, must be considered.
He said FinTechs must assume a more prominent role in the new face of banking, and the regulators must come to terms of what should be regulated, just as the customers are the most significant force, and represented by the outermost sector of the concentric circles.
Okere explained that the essence of the Five Forces Model is to enable players equip themselves with the imperatives that will ensure that their business is continuously relevant in the sector.

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