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The Economist Says GTBank Leads Africa’s Digital Banking Space

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A new report released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research and analysis division of the world-leading business media platform, The Economist, has disclosed that foremost African financial institution, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), is atop a new generation of multinationals in developing markets with the competitive strength and capacity to become a major player in the global scene.

In its report titled, ‘Going Global: 12 Companies to Watch in Developing Markets,’ the EIU said GTBank leads the digital banking race in Sub-Saharan Africa by getting more customers to bank online, reducing the communication gap with its customers and allowing customers to conduct 90 percent of their banking transactions from home.

The lender, which operates out of 10 African countries and the United Kingdom, is one of 12 companies selected from four continents and spanning six industries, that the EIU believes has the strategy and potential to dominate domestic markets and expand its business outlays internationally.

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“The lender’s digital services extend beyond banking to online payments for services such as applying for passports,” the EIU report added, whilst also stating that, “in traditional banking, GTBank has held its ground despite falling interest income and assets.”

Regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run African financial institutions, GTBank has been the major driver of digital banking in Africa. The Bank is renowned for constantly delivering innovative financial products and services, such as its full-service USSD banking product, 737, which enables customers and non-customers access financial services on their phones, by simply dialing *737#, and the SMEMarkethub, a free online marketplace for people to buy and sell at no extra cost, amongst several others. Recently, the bank achieved another first in digital services in Africa when it announced that it will be leveraging the WhatsApp Business Solution to enable customers bank as easy and swiftly as they chat.

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By being at the forefront of Africa’s digital banking market and maintaining its leadership in traditional banking, the EIU said GTBank and all of the companies profiled in its report are well positioned and have the ambition, business acumen and capacity to go big, globally. The report also notes that GTBank and the others have their work cut out for them.

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“They will have to counter ongoing global trade disputes and a rise in protectionism. With the tightening of global monetary conditions, there will also be considerable economic and competitive risks involved in investing in some markets.”

Despite these challenges, the Economist Intelligence Unit says it will be closely tracking GTBank’s impressive run for leadership in the global business scene.

“We will be examining their financial results, their new product launches, their marketing plans and the careers of their senior executives as they aim for the top.”

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Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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