Published On: Mon, Apr 1st, 2019

Stakeholders brainstorm in Lagos to increase Financial Inclusion across W/Africa

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By Etuka Sunday

Stakeholders and leaders in the banking industry across the West African region are set to gather in Lagos at The Future Banking Technology Summit to discuss efforts aimed at increasing financial inclusion in the sub-region by 2020.
The Future Banking Technology Summit will address over two days of panel discussions and case studies showcasing the full value chain of the region’s banking and financial sector to best achieve financial inclusion and sustainable banking sector growth.
The first of its kind event will focus on the future of digitising banking services for Central Banks in West Africa. This is as leveraging off experiences of similar regions can aid in the adoption of best financial inclusion practices, as it is becoming incumbent on banking stakeholders to be rapid, yet savvy in incorporating disruptive mobile money platforms, automated banking systems, tailored credit facilities and crypto-currencies for this dynamic market.
The two days summit will also tackle several paramount topics including, innovation in regulation- Overcoming gaps in rural banking strategies, supporting innovative financial institutions to improve financial inclusion, improving credit facilities to underbanked and Small and Medium Enterprises, throughout main panel discussions and networking breaks.
The 2018 survey conducted by McKinsey found that nearly 40 per cent of all African banking customers preferred digital channels for transactions, seeing Africa as the global leader in mobile money. Africa has emerged as the world’s second banking market in terms of both growth and profitability.
Commenting on the Future Banking Tech West Africa Summit, the Chief Information Officer, Ghana Commercial Bank, Umar EL-Farouk, said, “the summit represents a platform to converse about risk, rewards, security and transparency. How are you coping as a financial services provider with the Board of Directors, with Regulators, with Cyber-security, with Technology integration, with internal Auditors and Compliance, with internal stakeholders and customers, with Market and Competition?”
He added the following call to action, saying, “Surfing the Digital Transformation Waves Of Financial Services. Are You A Leader Or A Follower?
Also speaking, the Chairman of eBusiness Industry Heads Committee in Nigeria and Head of Consumer Distribution, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Stanley Jacob, said, “Technology in Banking & Payments has evolved significantly and Nigeria as a major actor has become the key factor to be considered in setting the pace for digital ideation, innovation and the application of enterprise payment systems to transform businesses and lifestyle”.
Jacob added that “We expect this event to provide a direction on us that can enhance our technologies and systems to facilitate a digital economy and most importantly achieve our targets on financial inclusion. I encourage experts, investors and key industry stakeholders to join this gathering of thought leaders and let’s make it happen”.
The summit brings together under one roof dignitaries from various industries across West Africa countries to exchange visions on ways of achieving progress in financial inclusion, that is becoming highly sought for recently to cater the demand of population, and the rapid penetration of latest telecommunication technologies by customers.

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