Finance leaders gather for Future Banking Tech West Africa Summit

A preview of the upcoming Future Banking Tech West Africa Summit

More than 40 leaders in the banking industry in West Africa region will gather in Lagos, Nigeria on 23 -24 April, to discuss efforts aiming to increase financial inclusion across West Africa region by 2020 in the Future Banking Tech West Africa Summit.

The first of its kind event focuses on the future of digitising banking services is front and centre for central banks. 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 cryptocurrencies for this dynamic market.

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 summit brings together under one roof; ministries of finance, central, commercial, investment, and microfinance banks, along with telecommunications fintech and ecommerce operators in west Africa countries to exchange visions on ways of achieving progress in financial inclusion.

A 2018 survey conducted by McKinsey found that nearly 40 percent of all African banking customers preferred digital channels for transactions, and Africa is the global leader in mobile money. Africa has emerged as the world’s number two banking market in terms of both growth and profitability.

Commenting on holding the Future Banking Tech West Africa Summit Umar EL Farouk, Chief Information Officer, Ghana Commercial Bank 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 cybersecurity, with technology integration, with internal auditors and compliance, with internal stakeholders and customers, with market and competition?”.

Central Bank of West African States (members include Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Niger and Togo) is distributing digital currencies and interoperability between e-money payment systems in francophone West Africa.

Stanley Jacob, the chairman of the eBusiness Industry Heads committee in Nigeria (CeBIH) and Head of Consumer Distribution, Ecobank Nigeria, said: “Technology in banking and 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.

“We expect this event to provide a direction on we 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”.

Besides Dr. Mudashiru Olaitan, Director, Development Finance Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, the list of speakers at the summit include, Niyi Ajao, the executive director of Nigeria Inter-Bank settlement systems, Stephen Ambore, head of digital financial services at the central bank of Nigeria, Sampson Akligoh, the director of financial sector division at the ministry of finance in Ghana, and Onyebuchi Akosa, Group, Chief Information Officer, United Bank for Africa Plc, among others.

The two days summit tackles 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 SME’s, throughout main panel discussions and networking breaks.