Microsoft, on Wednesday, hosted a virtual digital transformation roundtable for financial services industry (FSI), where it unpacked its digital transformation initiative to accelerate meaningful transformation for Nigeria’s financial services providers (FSPs).
Marketing and Operations Director for Microsoft Middle East and Africa, Hoda Younan, who disclosed the initiative during the virtual roundtable, said Microsoft would empower Africa’s FSPs by bringing together existing and new industry capabilities to deliver a more seamless, customised cloud-based experience.
According to Younan, “With deep security and compliance built in to meet the needs of the FSI, the proposed digital transformation roadmap future-proofs FSPs as they continue to manage unprecedented risks and grow rapidly with innovative business models.”
With the targeted solution, Microsoft has already helped many FSPs successfully embrace change and unlock new value creation on their digital transformation journey.
Recently, the African Financial Industry Barometer (AFIB) revealed that nearly 72 per cent of banks have already launched digitalisation programmes as a priority for the year ahead. However, most of those surveyed feel that their digital maturity is still at the emerging stage, and these FSPs need to accelerate transformation as a business priority.
Younan, however, further said: “These organisations view transformation as a journey that supports their staff to create the value the organisation seeks. These businesses access this value by defining a clear vision and strategy, creating a collaborative company culture, and understanding their unique potential and capabilities, before turning to technology to transform the way the work. Put simply, technology is the tool. People are the focus. And more value is the outcome.”
Country Manager for Microsoft Nigeria, Ola Williams, notes that there are several factors driving this urgency to digitise. According to her, “First, we have seen changes in employee work patterns that have shaped a hybrid workforce, as well as the increasingly sophisticated customer expectations for a 24-hour-a-day service at their fingertips with the same level of security as a physical vault.”
She further said: “Remaining competitive has seen a growing call for more sustainable, cost-effective business systems. Additionally, the urgency to digitise can also be attributed to increased regulatory scrutiny, a global surge in cybercrimes, and the rise of non-traditional FSPs in the form of FinTechs.”
Speaking about industry-specific cloud-based solution, Williams said: “Our focus on providing services that facilitate a trusted cloud with pervasive intelligence allows FSPs to reimagine how they deliver payments, manage risk, empower employees, and deliver engaging customer experiences.”