‘ICT to promote banking services’

ICT-servicesGlobal Director, Front Office Transformation Banking and Financial Market, IBM, Kwafo Ofori-Boateng, has expressed optimism in the growth of Information Communication Technology saying it would unbundle the services of banking.

According to him, there are companies today that offer payment solutions independently of the bank, wire transfer solutions independent of a bank, stressing that ICT is going to allow banks and non-banks to unbundle those services and offer them individually.

The Global Director, who spoke at the IBM Connect 2015 in Lagos, said over the years a lot of the financial solutions have not taking into the consideration the customer experience in the implementation of IT. Looking at ICT in an internal point of view, management reporting, internal audit, fraud, among others.

IBM solutions and ICT in general needs to understand what a bank is and what a bank is to a customer. Banking is not a place you go to do things, it is the things you do. It’s actually banking services rather than building a place you go and do banking which stand as a fundamental difference, he stated.

He charged financial institutions to look into customer relations in relations to future perspective whereby the bank can actually anticipate what clients would need, the services they require from me either banking or non-banking activities.

Speaking on how IBM is deploying ICT to contribute to change in the area of financial inclusion he said, IBM has worked with some banks in the region to provide credit scoring based on non-traditional data streams such as mobile phone data. IBM has also worked with some partners and clients to look at providing affordable pre-loaded devices that could provide a holistic banking solution, especially to unbanked micro-SMEs.

He noted that while the opportunity remains tremendous, banks still need to harvest and analyze the data that will inform which sub-segments to target as, even with financial inclusion, the customers are not homogenous and identifying the key profit pools is essential to being able to make strategically surgical forays into the unbanked space.

Digital” remains the clear winner in the channel battles, but specifically innovation in mobile banking delivery remains key. We are starting to see banks that are focusing on the mobile device as more than a channel and more as a capability delivery stack. So we see more banks looking at a concept that looks like “bank on a phone.

Another emerging trend in banking is embracing fin-techs and other disruptors as providers of adjacent banking services (or even more efficient competing banking services) and bundling these 3rd party services into offerings for bank customers, along with the bank’s own traditional products, he said.

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