The cashless policy has been established since 2012 by the Central Bank of Nigeria to reduce the volume of cash in circulation and since then, quite a number has embraced this innovation. A recent survey carried out by Odunayo Eweniyi ranked Nigeria as the number one African country with the highest number of internet users. However, this isn’t good news enough because with an extremely large population, you still find congested banking halls with people trying to transfer funds lesser than a hundred thousand Naira.
Nevertheless, the good news is this: there has been an increase in the use of mobile phones for financial services in the country. Banks have made it quite affordable for customers to conduct some services such as account inquiry and funds transfer. Very recently, Sky Bank has launched Omni-Channel banking solution, as a response “to shifts in customer behavior and preferences”
Omni Channel is an Irish company that provides banking software to banks all over the world. It is known as the grand master for providing technology solutions and currently serves over 100 banks in 60 countries including Diamond, Standard Chartered and Standard Bank.
The Chairman of Skye Bank Plc, Mr. Mohammed Ahmed, applauded the move by the bank and described the new application as “a timely intervention in the banking industry and a modest contribution towards the economic development of Nigeria, especially in the area of financial technology and digital revolution”.
Mr. Mohammed said further, that bank’s application of the software is in line with the CBN’s payment vision of 2020. “The app will lead to the enrolment of over two million banking customers in the next 17 months”, he said.
With this software in place, more customers will embrace e-banking as a convenient means of their daily transactions- this means less congested banking halls and circulation of money. A recent survey carried out by KPMG says only 42% of bank users use e-channels for transactions.
The Bank’s Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru also said that the new development comes as a way to show commitment in serving the customers better. After all, money is in people and business owners shouldn’t stop inventing new strategies to retain old customers and lure new ones into the market. He said:
“As a pledge of commitment to a new service charter with our customers, we have decided to render to you, this digital banking solution, which we have called sky experience denoting such positive values as experience, excellence, excitement and experiential.”
The Chief Information Officer, Skye Bank, Mr. Richard Amafonye who was also present a the occasion noted that the development “is a response to shifts in customer behavior and preferences” and that it is one of the results of the Bank’s long -standing collaboration with Oracle, the IT Solution company. Skye Bank and Oracle have been working together for about a decade and in fact the financial institution owes its success to the IT firm.
With this in place, the country may be a stone’s throw away from actualizing the CBN vision of digitalizing payment systems by 2020.