Embrace technology to remain relevant – ACAMB urges banks

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By Lydia Ngwakwe

The Association of Corporate Affairs Managers of Banks (ACAMB) has urged traditional financial institutions to embrace innovation and adapt in a changing environment to remain relevant.

The President of ACAMB, Mr Rasheed Bolarinwa, gave the advice at the association’s second National Stakeholder Conference 2023 edition in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the conference was: “Marketing Financial Services in Dynamic Times’’.

“As good news as this seems to be, for us as financial services providers, the rate at which fintechs and neo-banks have, and continue to transform the finance industry, is a wake-up call for the traditional financial institutions to keep up with latest innovations in order to succeed and thrive.

“Part of the imperative of these dynamic times is the demand on us in the industry to embrace innovation, adaptation, and agility if we must remain relevant in today’s marketplace,’’ he said.

According to him, the topic underscores the dynamism of the present time and the impact on the financial services industry.

Bolarinwa said among the key indicators of these dynamic times were macroeconomic headwinds that redefine the financial market as well as other markets across the board.

He added that rising inflationary trend, purchasing power parity and supply shocks occasioned by foreign exchange scarcity had a significant impact on production and ability of people to save money and invest.

He said digitalisation was also a major trend that was rapidly disrupting the general ecosystem including the financial services sector.

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Bolarinwa noted that consumer’s behaviour was being altered as the mode of buying and selling shifted from the brick-and-mortar traditional mode to online purchases, while fostering increasing adoption of digital payment systems.

“It is not just that; demand for safer, faster and cost-efficient services is also getting higher as consumers become more sophisticated while competition also gets fiercer by the day,” he added.

The Lead Partner, CMC Connect LLP, Mr Yomi Badejo-Okunsanya, urged financial institutions to rebuild customer trust by finding new ways to meet their needs.

According to him, a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd. reveals that only 39 per cent of Nigerians trust their banks in contrast to the global average of 56 per cent.

He said, “this lack of trust impedes financial inclusion and digital service adaptation.

“When you are promoting your product, you make it look easy in the promotion but when I get there you make it very difficult.’’

Okunsanya urged the banks to know their customers and market, adding that the era of mass marketing was gone.

He said, “in those days when you wanted to sell financial products, you just put a couple of pretty girls in a sweet looking car and sometimes, the higher their skirt line, the better; but you cannot do that anymore.

“A customer has become so aware; the issues of corporate governance does not allow that anymore and also how many banks were there in those days compared to how many they are now? So, competition is key.’’

He also advised financial institutions and other industries to create a strong and active research and development unit in order to succeed.

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Okunsanya noted that institutions were not investing enough in research and service.

He added that innovation and digital revolution was one of the most significant effects of the digital evolution in finance urging banks to democratise financial services, among others.

NAN reports that ACAMB is a body of corporate affairs and marketing communication professionals in Nigerian banks.(NAN)

Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma

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