Powering the next phase of growth in the competitive retail banking landscape of West Africa

WestAfrica’s retail banking industry is growing at a rapid pace, with competition becoming more prevalent in the retail banking and SME space which was once largely underserved. Banks are now leveraging on technology to serve what once were non-profitable market segments.However, non-traditional competitors have grown significantly in the marketplace, providing services traditionally exclusive to banks.These developments require banks to have strategic technology infrastructure in place coupled with strong risk practices in order to grow sustainable retail banking businesses. .

In line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s 2020 vision to develop and modernise the country’s payments system, Nigeria’s financial services industry has put greater emphasis on the neglected bottom part of the pyramid, leveraging on technology to serve this segment. Banks face the cost of maintaining extensive branch networks while simultaneously being outshined by the ever growing presence of payment solutions companies and mobile operators in providing low-cost alternatives. What can banks do to catch up while keeping profitability in mind?

As technological solutions become more prevalent, opening up new opportunities, banks must focus on a customer-oriented culture and push the envelope of innovation in customer service. The financial services industry will need to leverage on their strengths and decide whether collaboration or competition among non-industry players is the correct path. Either way, banks must move into the age of innovation and once again be seen as leaders in moving the market forward. This will require the right technology solutions.

The Asian Banker,a leading provider of research and intelligence in the financial services industry, will be organising the 2nd annual retail banking roundtable in Lagos, Nigeria for the benefit of decision makers in the West Africa region.

The dialogue will bring together an advisory panel from around the world who will contribute their own insights to leading decision makers in the region. These distinguished speakers include; 

Patrick Akinwuntan, Head of Domestic Bank, responsible for the retail, local corporate, public sector and microfinance businesses of the group. Since joining Ecobank in 1999, he has spearheaded the establishment of the Ecobank Pan-African Technology and Shared Services Centre in Accra, Ghana.

Qasif Shahid as the former head of digital banking &business development of MCB.Shahid positioned the bank as the country’s market leader in digital payments. Prior to MCB, he worked with Standard Chartered as head of payments and was responsible for managing all banking transactions and payments in the retail-banking environment as a business.

Sunil Sachdev joined GlobeOne driven by his belief to close the financial inclusion gap. Previously, he held the position of managing director of international payments for Fiserv where he was responsible for developing the payments business for Fiserv outside the US.He also served as vice president, emerging payments and new ventures at American Express where he was responsible for the creation and implementation of business development strategies.

This dialogue will focus broadly on the following goals:

  • Facilitating greater fertilisation of ideas in terms of retail banking technology and innovation.
  • Identifying benchmarks and best practices in emanating from different situations.
  • Internalising different possible responses to global retail banking trends.
  • Managing risks while catering the demands of retail and business banking customers
  • Improving channel innovation and customer reach


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