With the speedy transformation and adoption of new technologies, Information and Technology (IT) experts believe that the future of traditional banking is at stake with the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics.
Gathered in Lagos, Nigeria for a forum that harped on Digitization as driving disruption and re-shaping the future across industries, experts in the financial technology industry while discussing on the imperatives of digital transformation noted that countries should be thinking of banking as an experience rather than a product.
The experts who came together to discuss, debate and evaluate the future of transactions and innovation in the FinTech space agreed that it might take developing countries like Nigeria a while to catch up with technology trend speed due to its economy and slow pace of financial inclusion, also noted that to meet up with the pace, banks and other financial institutions globally will need to partner with tech companies, acquire them of try and emulate them.
Keynote Speaker at the event and Founder of the start-up, Moven, Brett King, who is also a global bestselling author, futurist and the host of the “Breaking Banks” Radio Show on Voice America, an Internet Talk Radio Network with over 9 million monthly listeners, noted that AIs will outperform humans in the future.
He noted that Africa stands a chance in tapping into the future technology to grow. Pointing out that 1.4 million unbanked Africans has moved since 2011, and with Kenya leading in the global mobile payment penetration 90% of its adult population, also with 13 countries in Africa having more mobile money accounts than bank accounts, Brett King said Africa is playing catch-up on basic tech trends in financial technology.
He however noted that Nigeria should create identity infrastructure to be able to scale up its financial technology quest. The country should also pursue inclusiveness as a way of creating awareness to FinTech.
“By 2025, every major industry will be led by a technology company. Then the biggest financial institutions will not be banks at all.” He advised that banks should partner, acquire or emulate technology companies in order to remain relevant in the coming years of AIs.
Former Citi CEO, Vikram Pandit, had in a related view, noted that with the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) 30% of banking jobs could disappear within the next five years.
In an interview on Bloomberg Television, the 60-year-old Indian-American said threats from artificial intelligence and robots will “change the back office.”
Pandit, who was CEO of Citigroup from 2007-2012, but now serves as Founder/CEO of a private equity firm called Orogen Group, noted that banks will need to restructure so as to remain in tune with global FinTech trends.
Similarly, COO of Swiss bank UBS, Axel Lehmann, said AI would “fundamentally change the banking business.”
“I don’t want to get blindsided. It’s less the technology, as such, providing a transformative element in the banking industry,” he said in an interview with Business Insider. “It’s really alternative business models that has the potential to shake up everything and eat into our cake.
King further warned Nigerian financial institutions of the hazard of creating financial exclusion through insistence on drivers license as a means of identification, but said that the country needs a central identity infrastructure.
“Identity is the biggest technology shift to include people in the system. Mobile will give access but the identity side will need something more central base.”
Co-founder and CEO of Paystack, an online payments company facilitating commerce in Africa, Shola Akinlade, however is optimistic that banking and Fin Tech will co-exist in the future. He noted that banks will get better with customer service while Fin Tech will thrive with their services.