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Financial Illiteracy, Inadequate Security and Lack of trust are some of the impediments to digital transformation of the financial services sector

 

Benedict Chukwurah

Head, Corporate Strategy & Business Solutions, Heritage Bank Plc

Says Benedict Chukwurah, Head, Corporate Strategy & Business Solutions, Heritage Bank Plc in an exclusive with Kanchi Shah, Head of Communications and Production, Exibex. Benedict is a Master-certificate holder in Balanced Scorecard implementation with over 18 years Banking experience. He possesses a vast amount of experience in Strategy formulation and execution, Customer service, Performance Management and Operational Risk Management.

Benedict is skilled in Process review and control as well as resource/cost optimization, having led a number of resource optimization programs in different organisations. He is reputed to be a dependable team player with strong interpersonal skills and a track record for project management.

Kanchi: How is Nigeria reacting to the digital transformation wave in the financial sector?

Benedict: Nigeria has been receptive and open to the digital transformation wave in the financial services sector.
The rapid pace of development witnessed in the financial services sector in the last fifteen years, and the close interaction the region has had with advanced countries over the years had somewhat prepared the region to embrace the new order of digitalization that is fast transforming the way businesses are done in recent times.

Kanchi:  According to you what are the crucial technologies or innovations that the fiscal sector is likely to effect in 5 years’ time?

Benedict: Within the next 5years, the fiscal sector in Nigeria would have fully commenced operations of “Payment Service Banks” as well as implemented “Open Banking” operations in the region. The bank of the future will be dependent on customer/user experience.

Kanchi:  How ready is the region in adapting to the digital change in operations and how are government bodies assisting in implementing the changes?

Benedict: The region is gradually adapting to digital change in operations and the way business is conducted. This is evidenced by the growing volume of digital transactions conducted in the region in the last 5-10 years.
Up until recently, the Apex Bank has continually introduced measures and policies to grow consumer confidence in digital operations. The recent pronouncement however by the Federal Government through the FIRs on a concluded plan to introduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on online transactions portends great risk in driving adoption of digitalization in the region.

Kanchi: What are the main challenges that need to be tackled to implement digital transformation in the financial services sector?

Benedict: Some of the challenges Banks face in implementing digital transformation in the financial services sector include

    • A lack of trust in the Financial services system by a large section of the Banking populace
    • Financial illiteracy
    • Inadequate Systems’ security/ high susceptibility to fraud
    • Poor quality of current network services/Cost of investing in qualitative network services
    • Inconsistencies in policy pronouncements by Government and other Regulatory bodies.
    • Fast pace of technological advancements
    • Slow pace of response by Banks/Operators to technological advancements.

All of these challenges need to be tackled head on to successfully achieve the level of digital transformation desired to be seen in the financial services sector. Banks/Operators within the sector need to adapt quickly and efficiently to the demands of the ever-changing technological advancements that are shaping digital transformation in the region.

 

Kanchi: Fiscal Transactions, CRM, Cards & Payments, Microfinance, Security, Digital Banking, Insurance, Investments – Which area has noted the most promising adaptation in terms of innovation and digital integration.

Benedict: The following areas have recorded the most promising adaptation in terms of innovation and digital integration

    • Fiscal Transactions
    • Cards & Payments
    • Digital Banking
    • Investments

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Interviewed by Kanchi Shah, Head of Production, Exibex

Kanchi is an Emcee turned Producer, who has been working in the conferencing industry for more that a decade. Having worked, both on and off-stage she brings a unique blend of Concepts from the Consumers point-of-view. A strong media and communication professional with adroit oration skills, Kanchi has been the driving force behind numerous strategic, turnkey face-to-face interaction platforms.

 

To be featured on Finnovex Live write in to kanchi.shah@exibex.com

About Finnovex: Finnovex is a platform that discusses how technology is changing the delivery of banking and payments services. The Middle East is one of the world’s fastest growing regions in the banking and capital markets sector. The region’s financial services sector is in the middle of an immense overhaul. With populations getting younger, better educated and more demanding; swelling diversity in financial products and services; and rising regulatory requirements for better monitoring of processes and developing secure financial systems, banks and financial institutions across the region are investing heavily to match or surpass their international peers.

 

Finnovex will discuss the roles of financial institutions, banks, fintech companies, and other stakeholders in building an impetus to this paradigm shift.

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