The Future of Banking Tech West Africa gives First Bank award for driving financial inclusion and literacy
By Maureen Chigbo
THE First Bank of Nigeria, which recently celebrated its 125 years anniversary has not only come a long way in age but in driving financial inclusion in the banking sector. Unlike in the 1990s when the hallmark of financial services in the bank was typified by tally numbers and long queues, now consumers of the bank can transact business with ease.
Moving from analogue banking to embrace technology, being at the forefront of financial inclusion and driving financial literacy in the country were among the reasons the Firstbank was given an award at the Future Banking Tech West Africa summit which held in Lagos on April 23. The summit is ending April 24.
Oluruntimilehin George, group head, Financial Institution and Multilaterals received the award on behalf of the bank from Evans Woherem, chairman of the summit. Woherem is also the founder and chairman of Digital Africa Global Consult Ltd and Computronics Solutions.
Prior to the award, George recalled the tediousness of banking services in the First Bank of old when he narrated his experience with the bank when he was a youth corper who used to receive his monthly stipend through the bank.
Comparing his previous experience of coming to collect tally number from the bank and what it has become in the 21st century, he testified that the bank has moved from old to the new generation bank with financial inclusiveness as it trademark.
George, who represented Adesola Adeduntan, managing director, FirstBank of Nigeria, presented a paper entitled: “The Future of CX/UX in West Africa’s Banking Sector”
According to him, “prior to now banking has been a different story. From tally number to transfer of money within minutes.”
He said that banks that will win the race of financial inclusion and the bank of future are those that are tech driven and versed on big data, icloud and artificial intelligence.
Realnews reports that in 2008 tech penetration in the bank sector is 45 percent compared to more than 50 percent now.
Stating that banks of today don’t know what is called bank draft, he added that new era banking will focus on experience, provision of solutions than in the banking space of old. “Banking of today and future will connect emotionally – people now do more on chats than on voice call. Culture of phone conversation is changing and so would banking. That’s why banks talk about alert; banking is becoming easy, moving into digital at such a fast pace,” he said.