What has been your personal takeaway from the experience of the COVID19 crisis in terms of its effect on business operations and re-strategizing the new way forward?
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the insufficiencies in over-reliance on traditional business operation models that require all workers to report to physical offices. It has also brought new confidence about convenience or practicability of using technology to facilitate remote operations especially for non-essential services.

According to you what are the emerging technologies or innovations that you think will become crucial in the financial sector, keeping in mind the current global situation?
Blockchain and AI are becoming exceedingly crucial in the financial sector in implementing transparency, decentralized finance, e-KYC and e-AML applications. Advanced data analytics technologies are also crucial in ensuring leverage on data for expansive digital banking and lending such as data usage in credit reference bureaus.

How ready is the region in adapting to the change in operations and how are government bodies assisting in the implementation of the changes?
Kenya as the region’s economic leader, has demonstrated willingness to increase adoption of remote work operations. For example, the Ministry of ICT recently launched the use of Google Loons for providing 4G internet access in remote areas of Kenya, as a way to improve the digital economy. The government has also expressed support for digital learning platforms to allow remote learning.

AI and Robotics, Blockchain, Data Science, Digital Engagement and CRM, Financial Inclusions – Which area has noted most promising adaptation in terms of innovation and digital integration? Why?
Blockchain, AI and Robotics are set to disrupt the future of different industries including banking; however, they still require a lot of research and proof-of-concept. Substantively, the use Data Science, Digital Engagement and CRM are the most promising areas of adaptation in the wake of Covid-19. With companies and individual promoting remote operations, banks and other financial institutions have been working to transform how they use data to digitally engage and relate with customers. For example, the use of data on a customer’s previous transactions to model their future potential needs and send them suggestions that influence their spending decisions.

How would you think attendees will benefit by attending Africa Bank 4.0 Summit?
By attending the Africa Bank 4.0 Summit, attendees are poised to learn a lot regarding the technological and customer behaviour trends in banking. The changing payments ecosystem with mobile payments growing in popularity in the region, requires bankers and other participants to deliberately model their products and services to suit the future customer and retain current customers.