Banks must evolve or risk irrelevance

 mobile money paymentSAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – FINANCIAL institutions must embrace digital transformation to survive intense competition in the sector and remain relevant in the digital economy, an expert warns.

Astrid Stolbrink, divisional Head of Financial Service at SAP Europe, Middle East Africa
(EMEA) and Africa, says banks need to be faster and more dynamic, with as deep and complete an understanding of its customers as possible and the ability to respond instantly.

“To survive in this changing environment, banking institutions needs to evolve,” stresses Stolbrink.

She adds requirements are changing and today’s banking consumer demands instant service, with round-the-clock availabilityvia channels of their choice.

The expert points out in recent years have also seen a host of new market entrants, all able to offer consumers a variety of banking and financial services, with PayPal and its ease of intercontinental money transfers a prime example.

“To survive in this changing environment, banking institutions needs to evolve,” stresses Stolbrink.

“Banks need to be faster and more dynamic, with as deep and complete an understanding of its customers as possible and the ability to respond instantly.”

She recommends SAP S/4HANA, heralded as the fastest growing product ever in SAP’s 44-year history.

Built on the SAP HANA platform, SAP’s in-memory column store business platform, it is providing immediate insight, intelligence beyond automation and complete integration between organisational divisions and the world at large, including third party financial technology (FinTech) providers.

“This is of particular significance in the African market,” continues Stolbrink.

“Whilst a huge percentage of Africans don’t actually have bank accounts, the proliferation of smartphones is well known. The SAP Banking offering is perfect for mobile transactions.”

Citing South Africa as a highly innovative marketplace, Stolbrink is nonetheless upbeat about the readiness of local industry.

“Whilst perhaps not as much money available as international markets, one only has to look at the current mobile technology for banking as proof of its innovation.”

CAJ News

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