The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Charles Kie, has disclosed that the Bank will adopt top of the range banking technology to push it market penetration strategy to become one of the top three Nigerian banks in the next three years. Mr Kie who assumed leadership of Ecobank Nigeria in January said rather than build new branches the bank would continue to deploy its state of the art technology including social media, analytics, and cloud, among others to reach every segment of the Nigerian population.
Kie, who was speaking to newsmen in Lagos, maintained that the best means to achieve penetration of financial services is not by branch network but robust technology through alternative channels. According to the Ecobank Managing Director, the bank has no plans to embark on branch expansion or merger and acquisition to achieve financial inclusion in Nigeria.
In his words “One topic that is dear to my heart is financial inclusion. The number of our branches that will be dedicated to separate activities will be defined, agreed on, duly approved and then we will roll out a strategy to touch the population that today requires such services. For instance microfinance as a means to have access to financial services will be provided by dedicated branches, obviously for that and others, technology will be the main driver”.
Further, “Social media, analytics, and cloud are items that today drive what we do when it comes to operational efficiency and inclusion. And as a bank, these are the elements that we will embed into our technology strategy to precisely achieve that financial inclusion.”
Kie emphasized that the Bank is also giving top priority to staff training and development to enhance customer service, stating that, it was in line with the vision of the Bank to chun out the best manpower not only in Nigeria but in the whole of Africa.
“My view is that to achieve excellence in customer service, the teams have to be hired, trained, and framed to achieve the level of customer service that we want. And therefore it can only become part of the DNA of the organisation; which is what we want to focus on to make sure that the people we attract, train, and retain are in fact molded to fully embrace the culture we want to build when it comes to customer service.”
He submitted that with the new strategies in place, the Bank will be the preferred and respected bank in the new few years. “We are taking a five year horizon as the least time to see the full impact of all the strategies we have put in place, and we think that by 2020, we should be in the leading position, that is, number 1, 2, or at a minimum, number 3 in the Nigerian market.”