Banking: Funding Digital Innovations is Banks’ Business

Either for being consumer or receiving business proposal, the attention needed to grow digital innovation cannot be wished away by Deposit Money Banks.

But for a start, the Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, has said financial institutions must now create specialised fund to finance the innovations that has become central to today’s banking and payment system.

She made the call in a keynote address delivered at the 2016 yearly retreat of the Committee of e-Banking Industry Heads (CeBIH), with the theme: “Disruptive Technology and Future of Payment”, in Abuja.

Awosika said that such fund has become necessary to facilitate emergence of Nigeria as an exporting nation in terms of digital solutions, challenging the group to take it up as an agenda.

“I think as an organisation, you need to mobilise your institutions to create funds to help young minds create solutions. As we are buying solutions from around the world, we can be selling our homegrown solutions too. It can also be sold to the rest of the world.

“The institutions with the deep pockets should contribute towards research for the developments that are required. As an organisation, you should add that to your agenda so that you can impact on the process of building the future,” she said.

She noted that while the financial services industry must embrace  technological changes, which have become a regular occurrence,  it is the task of CeBIH members to think holistically and come up with responsive solutions that will help the industry leverage of these changes.

She said: “My challenge to you as industry professionals is that as you lead this, don’t have a narrow view and that is the beauty of your collaborative action.

“You all represents competing institutions, but works under one umbrella and thinking for the industry. We will gain from this. But let the solutions that you proffer be responsible, solving the problems of the industry and also create solutions for the society at large.”

The Chairman of CeBIH and Chief Digital Officer, Wema Bank Plc, Dele Adeyinka, reiterated that the focus of CeBIH is collaboration to drive exponential growth of the electronic payment industry.

“CEBIH was established in 2009 with the objective of promoting electronic banking services in line with global best practice and serve as a forum for sharing ideas and experiences among the practitioners saddled with the responsibility of implementing strategies for a strong and thriving electronic business in their respective banks.

“Over the years, the committee’s focus has been on collaboration and in this spirit, banks have partnered to collectively seek ways of enhancing the industry in a manner that protects the interest of member banks and ultimately the banking public.

“As an association, we have experienced the gains of collaboration and presenting a common front in addressing issues that affect our business.

“This is in line with the vision of the founding members as stated in our tag line: “Driving Excellence and Dynamism through Collaboration”.

Our desire is therefore to see that this type of collaboration becomes an industry-wide phenomenon,” he said.