Over the past couple of years, technological transformation in the financial services sector and especially banks, has been tremendous with the advent of electronic and cell phone banking, apps, digital money transfers, digital payments of third parties, card payments and the like. FNB Namibia has been a forerunner in many regards with products and services including having been the first bank to issue credit cards, first with cell phone banking and the legendary eWallet, to name but a few.
Since the financial crisis, regulation and related market changes have put pressure on banks’ profitability. At the same time technology-enabled companies are changing the way in which customers obtain financial services. “As bank we have to work very hard and consider the appropriate scale and pace of technology transformation our institutions will require to compete in an expanding marketplace,” says CEO of FNB Namibia Holdings Sarel van Zyl.
Sarel advised that the digital revolution divorced companies from the restrictions of a specified time and place as the digital world presented the customer with the opportunity to conduct their business at 3h00 in the morning if they wished to do so. Businesses, including FNB Namibia thus need to ask the question – are we capitalising on the fact that customers are acting remotely and outside of time and place parameters?
“As we build our businesses and brands, consider this: in any pursuit, there are fast and slow ways of doing the same thing. There are ways of achieving targets that require immense, sustained effort, and ways that are get the job done almost instantly. It’s about amplified effect. We need to strategically dismantle our own restrictive rules in order to innovate, modernise, and be relevant in the future. The ‘why’ can be a rich source of innovation.”