Habil Olaka, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), has called for more investment in mobile money technology by banks to increase accessibility to banking services.
Olaka, who officially opened the seventh annual AITEC Banking and Mobile Money COMESA Conference in Nairobi today, said adoption of mobile technology would increase efficiency and expand business opportunities for the banking sector.
“There is need for banks and financial institutions to reach out and diversify away from the ‘traditional’ models of operation towards technology-driven service provision,” said Olaka.
A gradual shift in consumer attitude and growing demand for real time access to service, Olaka said, has characterised the banking sector with the institutions in Kenya and the region needing to embrace these changes to remain relevant.
Ehouman Kassi, managing director of Ecobank Kenya, said the banking industry needs to adopt technological solutions that enhance seamless banking operations in order to bolster intra-regional trade in Africa which presently stands at around 10 per cent of total trade.
“European Union intra-regional trade is presently 60 per cent of their total trade. Mobile and internet banking will play a critical role in growing intra-regional trade in Africa,” said Kassi.
Sean Moroney, AITEC chairman and conference director, echoed these sentiments, saying that the financial services sector should take advantage of the annual AITEC Banking conference to assess and accelerate their strategic adoption of technology.
“This year, AITEC Africa is lifting the conference agenda to appeal to bank CXOs and other top-level managers at the forum as a message that technology, and indeed mobile technology, is the next frontier of growth for the banking sector,” said Moroney.
He added that decision-makers need to have some level of understanding of which technology stands to increase efficiency and productivity in their businesses to make strategic decisions on technology investments.
Noting the pervasive power of mobile technology and the influence of broadband connectivity in commerce and the finance sector, the AITEC Banking & Mobile Banking COMESA conference features sessions on keeping pace with a changing mobile payments industry and business models for mobile payments in competitive markets.
Moroney said: “It is an exciting time in this continent; there are a multitude of opportunities in the African mobile money industry at the moment and the same time, more developed mobile money markets here in Africa such as South Africa and Kenya are seeing exciting, and increasingly sophisticated services emerging.
“We are hoping to use this conference to generate new ideas to keep the momentum going.”
The AITEC Banking and Mobile Money COMESA Conference is a two day conference that brings together the entire spectrum of the banking industry, with retailers, regulators, banks, microfinance institutions and key stakeholders in the COMESA region to deliberate on strategies to expand into cross-border operations and key issues faced by the region’s increasingly dynamic financial services sector.
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