Digitization of African Banking Sector to Sustain Growth in Post COVID-19 Era

Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa Financial Services Industry Online Summit 2020

A Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa Financial Services Industry Online Summit 2020 themed: Accelerating Digital Transformation, Enable Business Growth Again, saw thousands of delegates from across banks, telco operators, fintech and ICT services companies attend. The pan-African conference deliberated on ways to sustain growth in the post-COVID-19 era.

According to Liao Yong, vice president of Huawei Southern Africa Region, digitization of the sector through advances in ICT presented unique opportunities for the banking sector, especially with a majority of the region’s population lacking bank accounts.

“All of these ICT advances will be critical enablers to a thriving banking sector in Sub Saharan Africa. As we can see, the merging of these two curves of ICT and banking services is powerful. But how much we can unleash the power, depends on how much and how soon banking sector goes digital,” he said.

With a rapid uptake of mobile technologies in the region and a fertile future of unique subscribers in Sub Saharan Africa, Brett King, author of Bank 4.0, a New York-based mobile banking startup, observed that behavioural changes that come with coronavirus further underpin the needs for digital transformation in the banking sector.

Chen Kunte, former Chief Information Officer of China Merchants Bank and current Chief Digital Transformation Officer of Global Financial Services in Huawei’s Enterprise Business Group said digitisation will give the banking sector the resilience it needs in the public health crisis.

“We need to restructure banks’ ICT platforms from legacy architecture to cloud-based, open architecture by building AI-Powered and Data-Driven platforms to expand the way financial institutions engage and interact with their customers, and accommodate more innovative business models and service scenarios,” he said.

Locally, KCB has leveraged much on tech during this COVID-19 pandemic. 97% of all its transactions during this pandemic are done digitally which has to lead to substantial growth and has accelerated investments beyond its lending platforms. Huawei boast of over 20 years operations in Sub Saharan Africa which have enabled it to think global and act locally by providing its clients in the region with tailored-made solutions to make digitisation process seamless.