In contrast to the notion that financial technologies (fintechs) are disruptors, banks are beginning to see the platforms more like a piece of the puzzle to play a key part in banking business with shared responsibility for delivering to customers.
In a webinar hosted by Tagpay, a digital banking platform, African banks alongside fintechs have advocated for collaboration to unveil the huge digitization opportunity as well as to address the challenges of financial inclusion for the rapid scaling up that is needed across the continent.
“While there is a need for banks to be equipped with the tools that enable them to pre-empt the market and respond quickly to customer demands in a secure and cost-effective way, it is also important that these banks understand fintechs and leverage the opportunities they provide,” Djiba Diallo, senior fintech advisor, Ecobank Group said while explaining that working with fintechs would avail lots of opportunities to banks.
Adding that partnership with fintechs would help companies digitalize and facilitate service delivery to customers, Obinna Ukwuani, chief digital officer, Bank of Kigali, said digital transformation is a necessity as all companies are becoming technology companies, whether banks or not.
While recent time has seen financial inclusion develop, digital banking will need to continue driving the growth. Using the technology of mobile telephones, digital banking will have a significant role to play now and in the future, hence further growing financial inclusion to enable banks to feed new businesses and entrepreneurs, and hence build the economy at the same time.
In addition to building financial literacy amongst consumers, the partnership between banks and fintechs will also help reach more customers while the industry also develops talent and skills.
Carl Manlan, vice president, head of social impact, CEMEA, VISA said, “Because we are cash dependent, the opportunity to introduce digital payments to help promote financial inclusion is critical and to that, we need to ensure that there is adequate financial literacy and skills building along the way to make it work for more people.”
Yves Eonnet, chairman of TagPay, said, “The time we are entering is very exciting for both parties. The expertise that we have opens up banks to new ventures and new capabilities especially due to the low cost and speed of deployment.
“Systems are designed to target new customers, financial inclusion, or new sectors that are poorly served. This is exciting in Africa because this for me, is the beginning of a new era for banks, and all banks in the world are looking at what is happening in Africa. Because in Africa you have this situation, which is unique, with the financial inclusion issue where banks need to attract new customers; therefore, you have customers to serve, have the technology to do it, have the dynamism of the culture that makes it possible and that is where we are to build the bank of the future. I often say the Silicon Valley of banking is not in California but in Africa, it is where it is happening,” Eonnet, stressed,
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