Will Yinka Sanni be able to transform Digital Banking in Africa?

  • Standard Bank Group appoints new Chief Executive for Africa Regions
  • How digital banking is transforming the sector
  • Banking trends that the sector should invest in.

Financial services providers, Standard bank group recently appointed Yinka Sanni as its new Chief Executive for Africa Regions and a member of the Group Leadership Council who is tasked with keeping up with new technologies in the sector.

Digital banking is already transforming the financial sector and branch banking is set to rapidly change in the next 5 (Five) years with more people engaging online now than ever before. This is unlikely to fade anytime soon which is why the standard group and other financial services providers need to invest more into tech.

African countries and organisations should be looking to innovate and create new technologies and become early adopters as with mobile.

Adoption of the open banking system can also result in an increased revenue base for banks. Open banking is a practice where banks open up their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to allow third parties access to financial information needed to develop new applications and services. APIs are a set of protocols and codes that define how applications communicate and share data.

As banks open up their data to developers and Fintech companies, new solutions and applications will emerge that will improve the banking experience for customers because most of these applications are substandard and are notoriously difficult to use.

More so, as the applications are developed there will likely be a rise in the number of transactions handled through these mobile applications which will result in more revenue through non-fundable income.

“Although banks can pour lots of money into technology, the fastest way to deliver financial innovation in the future is likely going to involve strategic partnerships. Fast-growing companies that already have fintech or social media platforms in place could make excellent partners for traditional banks seeking to enhance customer experience.” Emanuel Osanga, Standard bank group head

A good example of a strategic partnership is the one between some Zimbabwean banks including FBC and Econet wireless to come up with zero-rated mobile applications and websites. Zero-rated apps allow users to access the platform without any data costs making them more accessible and convenient than other banking platforms that require internet access. This technology is more suitable in developing countries where access to the internet is hard to come by in remote areas or because users cannot afford the expensive data.

Consumer behaviour and smart device trends are steering banking technology advances in the direction of convenience. As such, contactless payments are poised to become the future of the banking experience as we have already seen the coming of apple pay, smartwatches and virtual cards.

Automated Financial Services and customer services Employees are also another trends that should not be ignored. Machine learning tech is being used to increase efficiencies and productivity across industries, improve interaction with customers, and greatly contribute to economic growth.

Interface innovations like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri have enabled the ease of interaction with technology, and as these interfaces advance, the symbiotic relationship between technology and humans will become more of a reality.

Sanni, who is the group’s Regional Chief Executive for West Africa, takes over from Sola David-Borha, who is retiring after 31 years of distinguished service to the group. David-Borha will remain with the group until the end of June to ensure a successful leadership transition and handover process.