By Silvia Nyambura
The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) has today convened the 23rd Africa Regional Group meeting aimed at discussing digitization of financial institutions. The two day event that is taking place at the Kampala Serena Hotel has been organized in partnership with Centenary Bank, Post Bank, Finance Trust Bank, Pride Microfinance and Ugafode. Under the theme ‘Effective leadership in a digitally changing world’, the forum will see bankers discuss the latest technological and financial trends influencing savings in the country.
Discussions will be centered around effective leadership, fraud and digital banking, technology regulation of financial related activities, financial inclusion, innovation and technology, financial education and rural finance to mention but a few.
Addressing journalists this morning, Stephen Mukweli, the CEO Post Bank Uganda said, “Digital and innovative technologies will play an essential role in enabling WSBI members to keep pace with competition and changing market requirements and expand their services to the unbanked population. This will bring the mass market into the formal financial system.”
Fabian Kasi, the MD Centenary Bank said, “This conference will help bankers take stock of their activities since the last meeting and discuss with practitioners the latest technological and financial trends that are influencing the savings and retail banking sector in the region. Through proper digitization systems in the sector, banks can be able to tackle challenges such as fraud, cyber crime and so on making them attractive for potential as well as existing customers.”
According to Chris De Noose, the Managing Director WSBI, only 10% of household incomes in Sub-Sahara Africa is saved despite efforts by financial institutions to correct this situation. The onset of digital systems however will revolutionize the sector and promote financial inclusion.
“At WSBI we work with retail banks that provide financial services to households and SMEs. We also advocate for international institutions to promote decentralized banking models as well as exchange experiences in the digital age. Our aim with this event is to chart ways in which our member countries can improve the savings culture of their people by ensuring that banks remain relevant to customers,” he said.
Nyambura is a senior journalist based in Kampala