Mobile banking, a panacea to driving inclusion
This move becomes critical because of the digital disruptions the financial sector is witnessing, which have left commercial banks struggling to offset high operating costs of opening new accounts, among other challenges.
Vice President, Digital Banking, CR2, Arif Sheikh, who stated this, added that this is because brick-and-mortar banks’ operating costs are higher due to clients’ smaller account balances, hence, the reduction in outlets.
But Sheikh noted that mobile banking is now modelled as the best option of driving financial inclusion and reducing cost.
According to him, at the present, Sub-Saharan Africa’s number of adults with a bank account increased to 43 per cent in 2017, up to nine per cent from 2014, while Nigeria’s banked population dropped to 40 per cent, down four per cent from 2014.
Sheikh, who was in Nigeria to announce the complete upgrade of Access Bank’s digital and technology platform via the CR2 software platform within three months, noted that all hands must be on deck to realise the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor Godwin Emefiele’s target of the country attaining 95 per cent financial inclusion by 2024.
He pointed out that over half of the Nigerian adults, about 60 million people still lack access to financial services.
According to him, CR2 is an Irish firm that delivers omnichannel banking software and solutions, to over 100 banks in 60 countries with a global presence in Africa.
Sheikh said the firm has been able to integrate CR2’s digital banking platform to core banking systems, multiple channel banking services with over 3000 ATMs of Access bank.
He noted that studying 250 banks in Africa on their mobile banking strategy, Ovum TMT Intelligence, showed that mobile investment had the highest percentage with 23 per cent of acquiring new customers, it presents 22 per cent ability to introduce new products and 21 per cent of remaining relevant to customers.
According to him, CR2 is fully localised in the Nigerian market and have over 1,000 customisations done to suit the requirements for digital channels, cards and ATMs. It has also reduced customer servicing costs benefit.
“Our integrated self-service banking platform has revolutionised the interaction between banks and their customers at every touch point. With our omnichannel banking software, banking becomes personalised, efficient and instant,” sheikh stated.
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