Bankers, experts move to advance financial inclusion in West Africa

Bankers, experts move to advance financial inclusion in West Africa

In order to achieve progress in financial inclusion across West African countries by year 2020, the region’s stakeholders and leaders in its banking industry are set to converge on Lagos at The Future Banking Technology Summit. The summit will address issues with inclusion that is becoming highly sought so as to cater for the demand of population, and the rapid penetration of latest telecommunication technologies by customers, organisers said in a statement.

They said that it will address these issues 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.

Umar EL-Farouk, chief information officer, Ghana Commercial Bank, said “the summit represents a platform to converse about risk, rewards, security and transparency.”

He added that the summit will address questions such as: “How are you coping as a financial services provider with the Board of Directors, with Regulators, with Cyber-security, with Technology integration, with internal Auditors and Compliance, with internal stakeholders and customers, with Market and Competition?”

El-Farouk further noted the following call to action for participants, saying, “Surfing the Digital Transformation Waves Of Financial Services. Are You A Leader Or A Follower?

A key focus of the event, according to the statement will be on the future of digitising banking services for Central Banks in West Africa.

This, the organisers said, will show how 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 crypto-currencies for this dynamic market.

Dwelling on the relevance of the summit, the organisers noted that a “2018 survey conducted by McKinsey found that nearly 40 percent of all African banking customers preferred digital channels for transactions, seeing Africa as the global leader in mobile money. Africa has emerged as the world’s second banking market in terms of both growth and profitability.”

The two days summit will thus tackle 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 Small and Medium Enterprises, throughout main panel discussions and networking breaks.”

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