The Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, has stated that in order for banks and Financial Technology (FinTech) operators to remain competitive, there is the need for them to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Wigwe stated this while speaking during the Africa FinTech Foundry (AFF) Disrupt 2019 conference. According to him, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Virtual Reality, Robotics, and Cryptocurrency, etc, have all brought immense opportunities for banks by helping to improve the way customers access and manage finances.
Importance of Automation Technology: According to Wigwe, with automation technology, banks and Fintechs are able to grant credit in seconds. To explain his point, Wigwe stated that the review of 12,000 documents used to take 360,000 hours. Today, this could be done in seconds using AI.
“LEVERAGING SUCH TECHNOLOGY AS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND UTILISING DATA ANALYTICS IS IMPERATIVE IF BANKS AND FINTECHS ARE TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE. TODAY, BECOMING AN INTELLIGENT BANK IS NOT AN OPTION, IT IS A NECESSITY, AS TECHNOLOGY IS REDEFINING THE WAY BANKS OPERATE.” –WIGWE
More IT-enabled Opportunities: The Access Bank boss also maintained that robotics technology is used to serve customers in banks, even as there are so much that could be done with data. For instance, big data analytics helps intelligent banks to understand their customers.
Traditional Banking is unscalable: Furthermore, Wigwe stated that from a business standpoint, the traditional banking environment did not provide opportunities for scalability. This is because its manual nature was slow and costly, thereby limited growth. However, technology has made it a lot easier to scale.
“TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED EVERYTHING. NOT ONLY IS THIS CONTINUING, THE RATE OF DEVELOPMENT AND EVOLUTION IS SPEEDING UP EXPONENTIALLY. TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS WILL DISRUPT TRADITIONALLY-RUN BANKS BY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF ANY INHERENT WEAKNESSES IN THEIR BUSINESS MODELS. THEY WILL DO THIS BY OFFERING BETTER VALUE PROPOSITIONS TO THEIR CUSTOMERS.
“TODAY, IT IS OUR TASK TO BRAINSTORM THESE WEAKNESSES AND UNCOVER OPPORTUNITIES IN OUR CURRENT BUSINESS MODELS THAT TECHNOLOGY WILL HELP US SOLVE. TODAY IS A GATHERING OF THE BEST TECHNOLOGY BRAINS READY TO RE-DEFINE THE FUTURE OF INTELLIGENT BANKS AND FINTECHS AND CREATE NEW DISRUPTIONS FOR OUR INDUSTRY.”
About the company: Access Bank Plc is a Nigerian multinational commercial bank, owned by Access Bank Group. It is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the national banking regulator.
Originally a corporate bank, the company acquired personal and business banking platforms from Nigeria’s International Commercial bank in 2012.
Access Bank Plc is presently one of the five largest banks in Nigeria in terms of assets, loans, deposits and branch network.
The merger of Access Bank Plc and Diamond Bank Plc on April 1, 2019, has made it the largest bank in Sub-Saharan Africa.