New Telegraph

Financial inclusion: UBA, Ecobank, others rated high on delivery

As African banks suatain drive to ensure substantial share of the financial inclusion rating, United Bank for Africa (UBA), Ecobank, Nedbank and some others have been rated high in this regard following their selection of hybrid cloud and AI capabilities. According to a report by IBM, the tools are for the banks to unlock digital innovation and continue their work to develop digital-first solutions, ultimately broadening access to financial services on the continent. Referencing UBA, Africa’s global bank and operating in 23 countries globally and with headquarters in Nigeria, IBM said, with the tools, the bank had set a goal to grow its transaction volume significantly over the next few years and to deepen retail market penetration.

“To achieve this, they would be required to attract the unbanked, acquire new customers through digital banking and retain existing customers by adopting a “No Transaction Must Fail (NTMF)” initiative. “Using IBM POWER9-based servers, Flash system storage and IBM PowerVC (Power system virtualization & cloud management), UBA set up a scalable, private cloud environment that is costeffective taking the first step towards embracing a hybrid cloud model,” the report noted.

It further stated that COVID- 19 continued to accelerate the already rapid changes that were happening across the financial services sector in Africa, fast-tracking the adoption of digital technologies to boost financial inclusion. “With over 475 million Africans expected to be mobile internet users by 2025 GSMA –The mobile economy sub- Saharan Africa 2020, digital and mobile play a critical role in facilitating the delivery of digital financial services to consumers who transact on their mobile phones.

“As banks focus their efforts on open innovation, security and high-value services, hybrid cloud solutions have become increasingly important to deliver seamless and secure digital banking experiences. “Enterprises, especially those in highly regulated industries like financial services, face unique challenges when it comes to balancing innovation and regulatory compliance,” says Alan Peacock, General Manager, IBM Cloud. “For decades, IBM has been fuelling the transformation of the financial services industry, bringing IBM’s trusted industry experience and leadership in security and data privacy to help banks modernise, transform operations and drive innovation,” he said. Ecobank, the pan-African banking conglomerate, with banking operations in 33 African countries, has adopted a hybrid cloud approach to extend its reach to millions across Africa.

“Using IBM Cloud, Ecobank migrated their flagship mobile banking application to leverage the on-demand capacity of resources that can support sudden spikes in traffic on its mobile banking services. Ecobank also has access to other IBM cloud services that can be used to develop more innovative, digital-first solutions to enhance their own client experience. “With over 12 million customers on its flagship mobile application, Ecobank is on an accelerated digital banking transformation journey and is set out to expand its digital offerings and grow the 30 million digital transactions it already processes on its platforms. As part of this journey, the Pan-African banking conglomerate has built scalable business solutions which allow for ease of integration with third-party providers using their open digital banking platform for a growing customer base,” IBM said.

Pan-African bank, Nedbank has set out to deliver superior digital experiences to customers. To achieve this, the bank is modernising its core banking applications with a hybrid cloud strategy and has partnered with IBM to help bring digital products and services to life. To take advantage of the flexibility and agility offered by modern cloud technologies on this digitalisation journey, Nedbank explored a hybrid multi cloud approach, adopted the IBM Garage methodology to implement IBM Cloud Pak for Integration. Through IBM Garage, the bank was able to deep dive and explore fresh solutions and in a week achieved what would have taken them months. Faced with the need to integrate complex legacy systems, Nedbank turned to IBM Cloud Pak for Integration to help build a simplified and standardised integration approach to their cloud strategy.

This enables Nedbank to shift their legacy applications into the cloud and integrate with other cloud-based applications they are consuming as they modernise and position for future innovation. Attijariwafa bank, the Pan African Banking and Financial Group, has adopted IBM hybrid cloud solutions software to advance the digitisation of its banking operations, and quickly bring new digital services to its customers, all in a secure and flexible environment. Using IBM Cloud Paks that are built on Red Hat OpenShift, the leading bank will streamline and better integrate front-and back-office processes and to modernise business and IT operations.

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