Exploring new opportunities in banking through innovation

bank-greeneuropeanjournalbankWith the nation’s banking industry getting more deeper into competition, innovative approach to financial services may have become an edge factor.
Besides, contrary to the belief that ideas are just good enough, banks’ ability to turn the ideas into reality to solve customers’ varying needs are becoming new value propositions, especially with Information Technology that is available on call.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), along with experts, at its CardExpo 2015 in Lagos, x-rayed the country’s payment vision, the assumption that underlines the vision and how innovation will drive the process, as well as how new users would be linked to the service delivery strategy.
Also, top card and e-payment experts shared inside strategies on positioning and enhancing card business to ensure banks get the best in the rapidly evolving card ecosystem.
Already, the impact of innovation in banking has been reflected in the volume of e-payment in Nigeria, as it grew from N18.1 trillion in 2012 to N35.1 trillion in 2014, while transactions through Point of Sale increased from N48 billion in 2013 to N312 billion in 2014 and the Instant Pay transactions rose from N3.8 trillion in 2012 to N19.9 trillion in 2014”. 

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Bank Limited, Ifie Sekibo, who corroborated the innovation-led opportunities, said that his bank is committed to introducing more innovative banking services, as it was built on such ideas, as well as technology driven.
The bank chief, while speaking on ‘‘Innovation in Financial Services Delivery’’ at the forum, said that innovation is inevitable for the banking industry, as it riding on the back of changing dynamics across the globe, which has penetrated the sector.
Describing innovation as having a combination of ideas and execution, he said: “Convenient banking is the norm and differentiation can only come through innovation. E-payment is now a commodity, but innovative e-payment is the way to go.
“Ideas are not good enough, implementation is critical. Innovation is about making complex problems simple, not being afraid to make mistakes, willingness to think outside the box and steadfast commitment to execution”,  he added.
He said that the growth in e-payment however does not mirror the huge population of mobile phone users in the country, as more opportunities are left untapped, but can be taken by innovative financial services.
“There are over 105 million mobile phones users in Nigeria. Also 60 million of Nigerians do not have bank accounts but have phones. Further, research has shown that 92 percent of banking transactions can be done without human intervention,” he said.
Speaking of the innovative transformation at Heritage Bank, Sekibo said the lender was the first bank without an in-house Data center. 
“We are the first to deploy deposit machines in all branches, and also launched the first real transparent MasterCard in Nigeria. In addition to these, Heritage Bank transformed small and medium enterprise (SME) bank

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