“Innovative E-Payment is the Future of Banking in Nigeria”
– Ifie Sekibo, Heritage Bank MD/CEO
The Managing Director of Heritage Banking Company Limited, Ifie Sekibo, has posited that there is a huge difference between the current growth in volume of e-payment in the country and the potentials available, judging by the number of unbanked Nigerians with access to mobile telephone services.
He noted that while the volume of e-payment in Nigeria grew from N18.1trillion in 2012 to N35.1trillion in 2014 with transaction through POS also increasing from N48billion in 2013 to N312 billion in 2014, the growth has not mirrored the huge population of mobile phone users in the country which currently stands at over 105 million. Out of this figure, he submitted, there are currently about 60million Nigerians who do not have bank accounts but have phones.
Sekibo, who spoke on Financial Services Delivery at the annual Cashless card expo of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Lagos recently, charged operators in the nation’s banking sector to brace up to deploy more innovative banking services platforms to drive growth.
He submitted that innovation is inevitable in the banking industry due to changes in dynamics across the globe which has penetrated the Nigerian banking industry. These changes, he explained, were driven by forces of globalisation, self service mobile devices and regulation. The impact of these changes on the Nigerian banking landscape, he further observed, has reflected in the sharp increase in the growth of electronic payment services between 2012 and 2014 in the country.
“E-Payment is now a commodity, innovative e-payment is the way to go. More innovation is required to surmount the growing challenges’, he counselled.
He revealed that Heritage Bank has always been driven on the path of continuous innovation, having been the first to transform the interior of banking halls in addition to being the first financial institution to set out deposit machines in all the branches nationwide. He also observed that Heritage Bank was also the first to launch the first real transparent MasterCard in Nigeria as well as transform small and medium scale enterprise (SME) banking approach.
“Heritage bank is a product of innovation and therefore, has always continued to encourage deployment of innovative platforms. We bounced back from the past on the waves of innovative thinking, we thrive on an innovative ecosystem”, he said.