With powerful forces reshaping the banking industry in form of customer expectations, technological capabilities, regulatory requirements, demographics and economics, Nigerian banks are now displaying great passion for retail banking.
As a result they are taking proactive steps to committing funds to research, capacity building and the development of infrastructure to harness the vast potential in that segment, which experts say is the future of banking globally.
The change in the landscape has equally giving rise to much advocacy on the need for banks to go back to the basics of banking – Retail Banking.
Retail banking, also known as consumer banking, is believed to be the typical mass-market banking in which individual customers use local branches of larger commercial banks. Services offered include savings and checking accounts, mortgages, personal loans, debit/credit cards and certificates of deposits (CDs) In retail banking, the focus is on the individual consumer and trust.
According to the Chairman Lafferty Group, Michael Lafferty, “Mistakes of Nigerian banks include; speculative/deal-making culture at the top, domination of boardroom by corporate/wholesale bankers, no interest in consumer or Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) banking in many major banks. The greatest mistake of the lot is universal banking.
“Investment bankers took control of the world’s retail banks – now called universal banks, consumers were ‘used and abused’ to serve the purpose of the investment banking divisions, mis-selling and predatory pricing became the order of the day,”he said.
Speaking on the need to embrace retail banking in Nigeria, the Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Ade Shonubi noted that acceptability which remains the critical decision is majorly influenced by available infrastructure and culture.
“You can’t build things in abstract in line with the environment you operate.
Shonubi while speaking on “Bank Branches and the future: The Regulator’s Perspective”, at the Digital Summit 2019 organised by Inlaks stated that for retail banking experience to be fully actualised in this digital age, there is need for banks to build trust because majority of the populace are yet to be digitally included.
On his part while introducing the theme “unlocking the opportunities in the digital banking age”, the Inlaks Executive Director, Mr Tope Dare posited that although no industry is immune to disruption, Banks must focus on customer experience and not wholly on product.
“They must rethink their product paradigm with innovative talents such as blockchain, AI, biometrics and fintech solutions.
According to the CEO, Femi Adeoti, in the nearest future, banks would not be competing against Financial Technology (FinTech) players, but with big players like Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google. The people are evolving with technology and banks, therefore, needs to adapt and be prepared for the future that is coming.
“Key elements for the survival of banks into the future should be their concern and focus more on customer experience than the products they provide for the customers. Banks need to upgrade their resources with innovative talents that must include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Biometrics and other solutions. The essence is to drive data, which is the new oil in the banking industry.
“Inlaks is not only committed to revolutionise African industries through the provision of quality ICT products and services, but we believe we also owe it a duty to contribute immensely to problem-solving discourses in leading industries,” Adeoti said.
As the leading Information Technology Solutions provider with over 37 years experience in Africa with top notched tailored made solutions, Inlaks has unveiled its latest innovation to drives maximum customer’s satisfaction and ease of doing business in Nigeria banking hall.
In its bid to prepare for the future while promoting good retail banking experience in Nigeria, Inlaks has introduced its teller Cash Recycler (TCR), MS 500 into Nigeria market with First Bank as the first to benefit from its usage.
The Monisafe 500 teller cash recycler ( a self service machine) from Hyosung TNS INC. is a powerful solution in the transformation of the retail banking branch channel.
“The MoniSafe500 greatly improves the automation of cash transactions, allowing tellers to provide more customer-centric service and increase cross-selling of bank products and services.
“Better management of your cash means efficiency, growth and the opportunity to position your branches for the future of retail banking”, the organisation stated.
Directions on Usage
There are four parameters to enter on the machine.
*Your name as the depositor
*Depositor phone number,
*Amount to be deposited
*The recipient account number.
TCR MS500 automatically brings out the analysis of your cash, after which the depositor can select cancel to eject the money and end transaction or to enter and complete transaction.
Upon completion, the machine prints out receipt for the depositor.
Speaking on the digital branch automation projects, Tope Dare listed the benefits of TCR MS500 to include improved customer service and experience, decongestion of bank halls, improve cash handling, reduction of thefts, eradication of reconciliation and disputes issues.
Among other benefits, he assured that the machine has been programmed to inline with our local environment, in that it can reject counterfeit but can accept old currencies.
Also, TCR MS500 checks for Security parameters, enhances, anti scheming (it triggers an alarm loud enough to scare away robbers) and have security camera according to CBN directives.
In addition, the machine transactions is 50% faster irrespective of its bulkiness. It counts 12 notes per second for both dispense and deposit.
Tope also stated out of the 21,000 ATMs across Nigeria, Inlaks has been privileged to build 7,500 amounting to 35%.
In addition, First Bank Deputy Managing Director, Mr Francis Shobo during his presentation said TCR MS500 has been deployed to over 700 first bank branches across Nigeria including Onitsha, Keffi, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
“Innovation is peculiar. We are glad that Inlaks was able to come out innovatively to address our major challenge in retail banking.
“Now efficiency and security has been fully maximized. In a year, we will deployed to our branches in Nigeria”.
Also, Shonubi acknowledged Inlaks efforts to promote the future of retaik banking in Nigeria.
“TCR MS500 is a self service machine. Its presence in our banking halls will make it easier for both the banks and customers. We hope to see more of this”.
In addition, the Central Bank of Ghana Deputy Governor representative said “Despite our tight schedule Inlaks creative provided solution tailored made for our local banks and central bank in Ghana”.
Similarly PwC research on “Retail Banking 2020: Evolution of Revolution” clarifies that the global playing field will shift from global to local.
“Technology will change everything – becoming a potent enabler of increased service and reduced cost; innovation is imperative
The pace of innovation will continue to increase, and leading banks will need to enable or leverage on technology innovations. All of this will accelerate the evolution of leading banks into customer-centric information and risk-management businesses”, the research claimed.