When we talk about sustainability through technology in banking, the relevant question to ask is – How to integrate technology and banking for the people so as to empower businesses? Banking sector is crucial for the growth of businesses in any country and I believe in Nigeria banks will play a very big role in partnering with businesses to achieve success. The following three areas are cornerstone towards this partnership:
Taking banks to smartphones
At Diamond Bank, we knew that our customers and their businesses were changing with time– there was a need to make banking simpler for them. We realized that in order to attract more people to bank with us, we don’t have to bring them to the bank – instead we have to take the bank to them. Our solution was the Diamond Mobile App. Probably the first of its kind in Nigeria that has helped thousands of customers (and businesses) to have easy access to banking and cashless transaction facilities. Considering that over the years, almost 70% of our customers have moved to using Mobile Apps and ATMs over cheque transactions, we can certainly say that we have been able to build a sustainable banking product for the future.
Including women into mainstream banking
Including women into mainstream banking is something we at Diamond Bank have marked as priority. My association with Women’s World Banking has definitely familiarised me with how much we are missing out on by financially excluding 70% women.
Women in Nigeria are very enterprising, they run and manage businesses. We want them to trust us and deposit their money into our banks – not only making it safer but also to imbibe in them the sense of empowerment for having control over their funds and businesses.
Moving towards cashless economy
We know and understand the importance of cashless economy. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is a great advocate of this and they have a cashless policy for Nigeria in place. This policy will enhance the integration of our economy as majority of the country’s rural population is unbanked. Cashless economy will help the small scale businesses (SMEs) and traders which form the informal economy, get integrated into the nation’s formal economy. This will take time, but the important thing is that we are taking the right steps in the right direction.