By Ademola Adewale
The next phase of banking sector reforms and consolidations in Africa’s most populous nation will be driven, not by the industry regulator or by industry or market forces but, by technology, technology and technology.
Computing technology has become a key business driver for Keystone Bank as we embark on a comprehensive overhaul of our systems, processes and human resource assets and capabilities.
Like financial services institutions all over the world, Nigerian banks are increasingly realizing the transformative powers that technology can inject into their products/service delivery offerings and by extension, their reputations and expanding balance sheets.
Technology has become a must-have tool. Previously perceived as a good-to-have box of machines used to automate back-end operational processes, computing technology has now permeated all the facets of banking operations from the back office IT and computational functions, to the banking halls, right through to the fingers of customers at the ATM or Point-Of-Sales (PoS) terminals.
Beyond their roles as financial intermediaries and corporate entities helping to drive and support government’s nation-wide economic growth and development agenda through their investment, trade financing and deposit mobilization activities, Nigerian banks are also beginning to see tangible benefits in-house as they experience increased efficiencies and a revamp of their corporate cultures. This is the silent experience of technology utilization at Keystone Bank, a mid-sized Nigerian financial institution licensed in August 2011.
At Keystone Bank, a new dawn beckons. Thanks to our investments in the latest, best-in-class server technology, end-to-end implementation and excellent partnership and support from IBM, old ways of “functioning” have given way to new IT systems, a fresh and innovative service delivery culture, and a customer-centric operational attitude.
Our vision of setting the pace in financial services delivery predicated on robust technology platform has become a reality.
Based on the implementation of the IBM Power Systems and other top rated banking solutions, Keystone Bank has been positioned as one of the leading banks in the use of technology for delivery of excellent services and innovative solutions in the industry.
As a technology driven bank, the IBM Power Systems Enterprise Servers have improved the up-time of the Bank’s Automated Teller Machines, PoS machine, and the speed of e-banking transactions; we are, thus, well positioned to deliver excellent services in support of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Cash-less policy.
We are now in the era of Big Data. Industry statistics estimate that banks in emerging markets spend between 7-10 percent of their operating income on managing data.
Big Data imposes a fresh set of challenges for banks – the integrity and security of customers transactional information and data, data mining and analytics, business growth and exponential growth of data volumes, just to list a few. Our extant working relationship with IBM has proven to be timely tonic for the Bank.
Keystone Bank’s IBM Power Systems have enhanced the bank’s computing capabilities. Our back-end operational processes have significantly improved to higher efficiency levels hitherto unseen in the history of the bank and our ability to service internal and external stakeholders of the bank has been strengthened.
Keystone Bank’s history reflects an enduring tradition of embracing change. As the Bank’s management team prepares for its next phase of business transformation and growth, technology will no doubt enable it deploy Smarter Banking concepts and principles.