At Techplus 2017, a sneak peek into the Future of Banking
The 2017 edition of Africa’s biggest tech event, Techplus, was concluded on July 8 in Lagos, Nigeria. As estimated by the organizers just before the event, it was expected to be a groundbreaking event with over 10,000 attendees, 90+ speakers, 60+ speaking sessions and 3,000 gamers. Really, the event commanded a large audience and brought fresh insights and perspectives into the discourse on Digital.
Techplus, which started in 2014, usually features masterclasses, exhibitions and breakout sessions. The theme for this year’s event was An Intelligent Future: From Connectivity to Digital Immersion and took place from July 6th-8th, 2017.
Taiwo Oyewole, General Manager of Techplus, said this year’s event has been made richer and more robust than the previous two editions.
“The lifeline of every economy thrives on the volume of business the [players in the] economic ecosystem can do with one another, easily. We are equal stakeholders in this economy and, so, startups, lead corporates, government and SMEs all need to work together and encourage one another,” he declared.
He further stated that the aim of the event is to connect businesses with one another, give them an opportunity to engage and do more business in the process, while the vision is to transform Africa through technology.
Joseph Iruafemi spoke on the Future of Banking in the country. Iruafemi is Business and Lead Developer at Websphere Solutions, a programming, digital marketing and e-commerce company.
According to him, collaboration between the banks and Fintech startups is important, as the future of banking lies in the provision of contextual banking solutions to banks by Fintech startups and companies. He stated that banks should open up their data through Application Programming Interface (API), Control and Documentation, so Fintech companies and startups have more customer information to work with.
Iruafemi believes a synchronized database across the country will remove multiplicity of accounts and ease banking processes. The future of banking is high-level customer segregation, customer-centric banking, target marketing and service delivery. USSD banking solutions are very useful as they help to bridge the gap between the banked and the unbanked, but the ease of use which encourages easy spending should be managed at customer’s discretion.
“Bank branches will be everywhere, but invisible”, he said.
Iruafemi’s conclusion paints a futuristic, yet realistic, picture of Banking. Customers will be able to do banking seamlessly. The future of banking is not branch-less, but less branches, while apps and digital banks take over. Therefore, banks should not only focus on building nice apps, but user experience. Artificial intelligence and machine learning should be introduced to banking, to reduce the number of actions customers need to take in order to get results on banking apps and websites. Soon, a difference between banks and banking will emerge, where banks will take a hands-off stance on most financial operations and assume the role of ‘custodians of regulations.’
On the question whether the industry could actualize these innovative changes in the face of industry regulatory frameworks, he had a ready answer:
“Continue with what you are doing; there has to be something on ground to regulate. In due time, regulation will catch up on the innovation.”
Iruafemi also spoke about a startup within his company, Kobotrack. Kobotrack is essentially a gamified money manager and personal finance management solution app. It employs the use of artificial intelligence and by August 2017 when it goes on Business-to-Consumer (B2C) mode, it will include such features as budgeting, rewards for sticking to budgets, financial advice in real time and daily expenditure entries, through the user’s banking transactions.
Techplus 2017 also featured exhibitors such as Samsung, Comedy, Lenovo, Wema Alat, Paga and Red TV, among others.
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Chiamaka Akuba15 Posts
Chiamaka Akuba is a graduate of Mass Communication of the University of Lagos, Nigeria. She is passionate about emerging markets and entrepreneurship and is actively working with the industry. She loves her conversations challenging and can’t help laughing when you call her ‘Honourable Writer of the Federal Republic'. Chiamaka is a Staff Writer at Outrepreneurs.