Wednesday 21, March 2018 by Jessica Combes

Experts discuss digital transformation in the African banking sector


Banking and finance software specialist, Temenos, welcomed the leaders driving real change across the financial industry in Africa at the Bank of the Future forum in Abidjan on 20 March 2018.

Bank of the Future forum focused on software solutions for the digital future of financial services, bringing together representatives from across the industry including product experts and thought leaders from around the world.

Every bank and financial institution, of any size, anywhere in the world, exists during a digital revolution. Digitisation is no longer a 'nice to have' and is instead the very essence of customer experience and therefore business health.

According to the McKinsey Global Banking report 2018, Africa’s retail banks have compelling reasons to embrace digital transformation. Firstly, the continent’s overall banking market is the second-fastest-growing and second most profitable of any global region. Nearly 300 million Africans are banked today, a number that could rise to 450 million in five years.

Second, 40 per cent of Africans prefer to use digital channels for transactions. African banking customers are among the most enthusiastic adopters of mobile and digital channels of any developing region.

Third, several disruptive competitors, including numerous mobile money players and digital attackers such as Tyme Bank in South Africa or Alat in Nigeria, are emerging and posing a threat to revenue share.

Finally, advances in technology are raising the bar—and the opportunity—for innovation; these include increased affordable computing power for processing big data; the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning; robotics lowering the cost of automation; and blockchain.

“There are many ways and no shortage of opinions on how to become digital and the journey in many cases will be painful. Every executive must make major strategic choices, which will have implications on their business models and technology” said Ivan van Bladel, Director for French Speaking Africa at Temenos.

Van Bladel added that those in the banking sector need to begin the journey to digital transformation with a focus on: satisfying customers with consistent, personalised, instant and integrated experiences across all products, on all channels, anytime and anywhere; replacing a patchwork of legacy systems with end-to-end, fully integrated and open digital banking software; driving cost-efficiencies, error-reduction and increasing the speed to bring new products to market that are not only inevitable, but essential to their competitive edge; and accelerating into an era of open banking where they can collaborate with an ecosystem of third parties to add more value to their customers’ lives.


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