You may have not come to embrace the fact that ‘speed means business’ in this age that we are in but making a quick dash into the bank should help you realize the significance of the phrase. Time and again, you would have seen how people come into the banking hall wishing things were done at a faster pace. And sometimes, the crowd becomes so overwhelming that one’s time [for other relevant activities] is eventually encroached upon.

It is in keeping the number of customers in the banking hall within manageable size that a host of banks have now adopted different digital avenues through which customers can do certain transactions without having to go into the banking hall. Talking about digital innovations however, some banks appear to be above the rest in developing and optimizing technological advances that are very effective for their business operations.

Leading the pack in this respect is United Bank for Africa (UBA). This financial institution was adjudged [by EuroMoney Awards] to be the best digitally advanced bank in Africa in 2018, and in the same year, it was recognized by International Financial Magazine as the most innovative digital bank. These feats showed the huge investment that the bank has directed towards digital innovations. Besides being one of the first financial institutions to adopt the Finacle 10x digital platform, the bank is also the foremost to optimize social media platforms for financial services. With an app such as ‘Leo’, the bank’s customers are able to carry out transactions [like fund transfer, airtime purchase, checking of balance and opening of new accounts] through the social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp.

But UBA is not alone in the digital upsurge; others like FirstBank, DiamondBank, Wema Bank and so on are also coming up well. Furthermore, a research showing Fidelity Bank’s drive in digital innovation reveals that it is not one (financial institution) that can be swept aside when discussing technological upgradability in the banking sector in Nigeria. Fidelity’s Flashkey is just one of the ways through which the bank is showing off its digital creativity, and the app has surely change how we do fund transfer.

These digital innovations are surely gaining more popularity among customers, and they will be very handy in ensuring that the country operates a cashless economy. However, despite their advantages, there remains a considerable number of the populace that is yet to fully embrace the use of these digital financial innovations. For some persons, it is down to the fact that they do not know how to use them [or lack of knowledge about their existence] while some have decided against using them (digital innovations) because they do not trust the system. Hence, it is incumbent on every financial institution that has adopted any form of digitalization to effectively sensitize its customers on the existence and use of such. On the other hand, it is expedient that some of these financial institutions promptly address issues that may be associated with insecurity and/or operational failure of their technological processes.

Notwithstanding, the Nigerian banking sector is on a digital ascendance and should banks such as UBA, FirstBank and Fidelity continue in their stride – and those lagging behind taking a cue from them – we may be in for an entirely new face of banking in our part of the world in the nearest future.