Exploring branchless, other digital forms of banking in a crisis

Digital banking We are certainly living in unprecedented times. An indicator, which calls for concern, is how the number of Coronavirus cases has increased from 2 to 81 in the span of some weeks in Nigeria and unfortunately, this continues to rise with each passing hour. Many countries are reaching a rather critical infection juncture where things may likely get out of control.

The Nigerian government, especially in Lagos, has begun to implement the “self-quarantine” rule for its residents. Over this past week, churches, mosques and even banks have begun taking precautions against the spread of the virus. Union Bank announced that it had instructed its employees who can work from home to do just that during this period. Ecobank sent a circular to all vendors not to come to its locations except for essential services and pre-approval.

Even more recently, Access Bank Plc announced that an individual, who visited one of their branches in Lagos on the 16 th of March, 2020 was tested positive for the virus, and so the bank urged its customers to take full advantage of their digital platforms instead for all their banking needs.

The chaotic effects of the pandemic make it rather unclear what the Nigerian financial services industry will look like after the crisis is over, especially in banking. Fortunately, banks these days have the digital options that allow their customers to manage the vast majority of banking needs without leaving their homes. Now more than ever, the importance of exploring digital platforms and tools in banking or the lack thereof is increasingly highlighted. Therefore these questions arise:

Are Nigerian Fintechs prepared for the worst possible outcome in a global crisis?

Giving that with any significant market pullback, opportunities will eventually arise amid the disruptions, are they ready to employ all tactics needed to milk these opportunities?

Is this an opportunity to strive for a future where digital and branchless banking solely driven by technology could change the way we bank?

Globally, there is an indication that the pandemic could hasten all forms of digital banking trends, and bankers are reporting that digital usage is rising alongside the proliferation of the virus. In many cases, it is surging.

Nigeria records a rather significant number of people with a preference for online and mobile banking, however, there is still is a large number of people who depend solely on brick and mortar banks to […]

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