By Lydia Ngwakwe
Lagos, Dec. 5, 2020 (NAN) Mr Kunle Elebute, Chairman/Senior Partner KPMG Nigeria, has urged the banking industry to extend and improve on digital delivery so as to positively impact on customers.
Elebute gave the advice on Saturday in Lagos, at the 2020 blended virtual and physical Fellowship Investiture of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event has “Financial Services in a Post COVID-19 Environment: Strategic Imperatives”, as its theme.
He said the shift to digital economy was the new reality, noting that Fintech platforms, such as Paystack, were deploying their services through mobile Apps, and were on the rise.
According to him, the face of competition is also changing with increased activity from non- banks.
He said that some of the non-bank players were becoming more significant in scale and relevance.
“In harnessing the shift to a digital economy in a new reality, the banking sector needs to accelerate Digital Infrastructure Development and come up with Programs and applications to extend and improve digital delivery.
“It must invest and forge partnerships and collaborations within the landscape e.g. partnerships with Fintechs, open up technology infrastructure to the Financial Services ecosystem to integrate and drive innovation.
“There is need to leverage Data and Platforms for Business Model Transformation to transform operating model and value propositions.
“There’s also need to leverage mergers and acquisitions deals to scale up operations in high growth locations and segments,” he said.
A former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Ernest Ebi, urged the banking industry to look beyond the immediate threat of the pandemic and refocus on understanding their customers “new normal needs”.
“Banks, therefore, need to adopt new operating models that support rapid and stronger recovery, as well as ensure efficiency and resilience to weather the storm.
“Let me reiterate that the “new norm” we find ourselves should avail us the opportunity to reset our operating models in a way that will significantly help reshape the industry and support a stronger recovery.
“The fiscal and monetary responses of the government are not misplaced, and neither are these at variance with measures introduced in other jurisdictions.
“I believe that the banking industry has a crucial role to play in the effective implementation of these measures to mitigate the impact of the twin shocks on businesses and households.
“Though there are genuine concerns around increased non-performance loans of banks customers, hence the need for the industry to refocus,” he said.
The Governor of Osun, Mr Gboyega Oyetola, said there was the need for more investments in technology to further liberalise banking to reach more customers.
“The banking industry, owing to its centrality as institution that facilitates economic activities, has likely been caught in this web ( Pandemic Impact) .
“Asides this sharp resumption in capital inflow and liquidity generally as occasioned by the depression in the economy, we are also beginning to see a significant rise in digital banking with the influx of payments at Commercial platforms.
“What this really suggest is that there is need for more investments in technology to further liberalise banking to reach more customers, especially those in the hinterland.
“That also leaves us with the option to appropriately deploy the share volume of data available on the financial service payment ecosystem on account of the increasing use of digital payment platforms to better understand customer idiosyncrasies and thus, design relevant appropriate product to serve them,” Oyetola said.
Earlier, Mr Bayo Olugbemi, CIBN President, urged banks to consider conducting more market research on how customer needs might change in the Post COVID -19 era.
According to him, this will inform product development and process improvements.
“I strongly believe that in a Post COVID-19 environment, banks will continue to strengthen their cyber security architecture against potential attacks by fraudsters, especially now that traffic has moved to the digital space.
” Banks will also continue to reinforce their Risk Management Framework in tandem with government policies,” he said.
Highlight of the event was the conferment of awards on eminent and deserving personalities who had distinguished themselves in their various endeavours.
The awardees had contributed significantly to the growth and development of the Institute, the financial services industry, the Nigerian economy, the continent and indeed the world at large.
Naija247news reports that 19 distinguished personalities were conferred with the prestigious Honorary Fellowship of the Institute while 64 Associates would be elected into the Fellowship cadre.
Also, 101 Senior Executives would be admitted into the Honorary Senior Membership of the Institute.
Three Honorees who joined virtually are international figures.
They are, President, African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina; Governor, Bank of Sierra Leone, Prof. Kelfala M. Kallon; and Mr John S. Davies, III, President, West African Bankers Association, President Liberian Bankers Association and President/CEO Liberian Bank for Development and Investment.