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Business News

Stanbic IBTC highlight roles of AI in Nigeria’s future banking operations

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Wole Adesiyan - Roles of AI, robots in Nigerian future banking operations -Stanbic IBTC

Revolution in the Nigerian banking system has over the years been effective. Industry stakeholders and financial institutions have argued that banking operations in Nigeria will be revolutionised when Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics emerge key players.

In a recently-held interview, Head, Business Transformation, Stanbic IBTC Bank Limited, Wole Adesiyan addresses the importance of robotics and AI in improving the overall customer experience in the country’s banking sector.

Adesiyan said banks and other traditional financial institutions have no reason to be worried, with Fintechs steadily encroaching into conventional banking using AI.

According to Adesiyan, any bank that has plans for continued relevance will invest in AI, Big Data and Machine Learning to ensure that the customers of today and the future are catered to.

While saying that fintechs should not be a source of concern to banks, Adesiyan said banks should learn from these fintechs and create avenues for a partnership where necessary.

Speaking on a survey that stated that financial institutions all over the world would save $1 trillion in projected cost savings from adoption of AI, Adesiyan said bankers and financial institution stakeholders should be prepared for the future.

Adesiyan advised that if a man can do someone’s job, it is important for the person to prepare for a better one.

“Definitely, we believe in preparing for the future without ignoring our environment and the culture of our people. Here in Nigeria, the average individual still desires human interaction when dealing with anything as sensitive as money. Maintaining a hybrid bank structure will keep us ahead of the curve. We also encourage our colleagues through learning and development to prepare for a future that includes Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Process Automation. If a machine can do your job, prepare for a better one, this is my candid advice.” Adesiyan was quoted.

It would be recalled that Stanbic IBTC Bank, a member of the Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc had deployed some robotics to handle some segment of its operations.

The Stanbic IBTC BlueBots, as the robots are called have been deployed to manage middle and back office activities at some selected branches across Lagos.

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Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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    Business News

    Paypal’s Venmo now permits cryptocurrency trading

    Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

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    Venmo, a mobile payment service owned by PayPal has announced that it has started allowing users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on its app. Just like PayPal, Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, and users can carry out transactions with as little as $1 on the app

    Founded in 2009, Venmo has over 70 million users and it is one of the most popular payment channels in the US. The payment platform processed around $159 billion in payments last year.

    Since the app functions like a social network, adding cryptocurrency will offer a more user-friendly feel for people who love buying and selling crypto.

    As bigger companies show more interest in cryptocurrency, there will be wider adoption of virtual currencies in future. Venmo is the latest payment app that is offering support for cryptocurrency on its platform.

    Paypal, the parent company of Venmo is one of the most active companies in the crypto space as it allows users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their digital wallets. Paypal users can also spend their coins at millions of merchants globally.

    Crypto on Venmo is enabled through PayPal’s partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of cryptocurrency products and services.

    What they are saying

    Darrell Esch, Venmo’s Senior Vice President and general manager said “Our goal is to provide our customers with an easy-to-use platform that simplifies the process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies and demystifies some of the common questions and misconceptions that consumers may have.”

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    Business News

    ABCON asks CBN to check impact of cryptocurrencies on diaspora remittances

    The association also noted that the apex bank needs to address other issues driving the patronage of cryptocurrency exchanges for remittance transfers.

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    ABCON disagrees with those calling for naira devaluation

    The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to introduce measures that will neutralize the positive effects of cryptocurrencies as a channel for diaspora remittances.

    This is to redirect diaspora remittances away from cryptocurrency exchanges to official channels and also protect such against potential disruptions.

    This call was made by ABCON during its Quarterly Economic Review for the first quarter of 2021 where it commended the CBN for the N5/$ rebate scheme introduced to encourage diaspora Nigerians to use official channels to remit their funds.

    However, the association noted that the apex bank needs to address other issues driving the patronage of cryptocurrency exchanges for remittance transfers.

    READ: Nigeria among worst countries to start a career, and they all don’t accept crypto

    What ABCON is saying in their statement

    The association in its statement said, “It is noteworthy that public acceptability for cryptocurrency exchanges are rising which could be quite accountable for the wide drop in diaspora inflows to Nigeria. Insecurity in the country is giving it greater prominence as investors and citizens are finding Cryptocurrency a safe haven for their wealth in case of any eventuality.

    In most Emerging Markets Bitcoin transfers surged last year, as the pandemic exposed the cheaper and more efficient digital remittance services. Migrants sending money across borders to their families prefer the minimal transaction costs of cryptocurrency exchanges against the exorbitant costs of traditional money transfer companies like Western Union.”

    READ: Atsu Davoh is building ways for Africans to easily acquire and spend cryptocurrency

    According to ABCON, “Cryptocurrency transactions are faster than the conventional transfers, which require passing through banks reliant SWIFT, the sluggish, half-century-old interbank messaging system that handles cross-border payments.

    These exchanges override the political complications of official channels. The global reach of cryptocurrencies avoids the inflation risk inherent to official currencies, especially in politically unstable countries reliant on fickle foreign investors.

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    Thus, while we commend the efforts of CBN in introducing the package of Five Naira for One Dollar transfer, it can be seen from the analysis above that the challenges exceed just non-payment of foreign currency by the IMTCs and the exchange rate. Strategies that satisfy the most sensitive of these advantages of Cryptocurrency exchanges must be introduced to redirect flows to the official channel.”

    ABCON also expressed concerns over the country’s huge unemployment rate, urging the government to apply radical approaches with the use of both conventional and unconventional economic and political tools to redress the trend.

    READ: Afreximbank President reveals ways Nigeria can boost diaspora participation in economy

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    What you should know

    • It can be recalled that the apex bank had about 2 months ago, warned the Deposit Money Banks, Non-Financial Institutions and other Financial Institutions against doing business in crypto and other digital assets.
    • The CBN directed financial institutions to immediately close the accounts of persons or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges, warning of severe regulatory sanctions in the event of any breach of the directive.
    • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had a few days ago, revealed that it is working with the CBN for a better understanding and regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country.

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