Banks, not FinTech, Are Their Own Biggest Threat—Expert

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By Dipo Olowookere

Founder and Executive Vice Chairman of CWG Plc, Mr Austin Okere, has pointed out that the biggest threat to banks are not financial technology companies otherwise known as Fintechs. According Mr Okere, the banks are their own biggest threat.

While delivering his paper entitled ‘Big data, Fintech and the future of banking’ at the 2018 Lagos Bankers & Stakeholders’ Nite organised by Lagos branch of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (CIBN), Mr Okere said banks believe they can always make profits even in times of economic downturn when the real sector of the economy suffered the most.

According to him, this has led many banks to believe that they are invincible, that is now characterised by loss of touch with customers.

He noted that the evolving technology which goes beyond financial application is expected to disrupt global supply chain by boosting transaction schemes across borders and improving the transparency of the process.

He said the technology uses the blockchain technology which has created the backbone of a new type of internet which was originally devised for the digital currency, remarking that it is this technology that Fintechs are leveraging to disrupt traditional banks.

Mr Okere said most disruptive application of the blockchain technology would be in the financial sector as consistent complaints about banks have reached a crescendo in recent times.

According to him, after centuries of receiving deposits and making loans, two customer groups have emerged, and both are calling for a change. The first group comprises of under-banked adults while the second comprises of members of the elite who believe that the relationship is absolutely skewed in favour of the banks.

He said the way forward for the banking industry is to collaborate with Fintech companies to deliver financial services because Fintechs have taken over financial services up to a third percentage of the population in volume and in value incountries like Kenya and China.

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