4 Takeways From Segun Agbaje, CEO of Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank Interview

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Before the emergence of the several financial technology start-ups, we have today in Nigeria, getting few transactions done through the traditional financial institutions could take several days, if not weeks. Thanks to technological disruption in the financial institutions’ sector, Start-ups like quickteller, fluttawsve, page, Opay, are now making transactions seamless and flawless. The telecommunications companies have also dived into financial services, MTN recently commences operations to provide mobile financial services. The traditional financial institutions have also taken initiatives by stepping outside the bricks banking and operates several payment platforms. Habari by GTB bank and Alat by WEMA bank are great examples.

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In a recent interview, the CEO of GTB, one of the leading technological innovating financial institutions in Nigeria sat down with PWC’s Business+Insider to discuss the future of banking in the country.

Below are a few takeaways from the interview

Competitors: The competition in the financial sector has gone beyond the fights between financial institutions and the fights to acquire one another’s customers.

The competition has now extended to telecommunications companies, even betting companies. In other words, a start-up with a mobile wallet and technology is now considered as competitors to the banks. Most betting companies use artificial intelligence and have several payment wallets, in addition to the ability to access to customers’ data.

Start-ups founders must always look out for competitions, however, not only in their sector. Competition can be internal, external, across sectors.

Biggest Threat: The biggest threat to traditional banking institution is the ever-changing competitive landscape as a result of digital technologies. No one can foresee what to come and what direction is the waves going. The emergence of new digital start-ups is a threat to relevance and profitable of the financial institution. This means the banks now have to compete with new entrants now compete for customers base share.

Business owners now face threats more than before as a result of technological disruption. One must be at alert, flexible and be open to innovate.

Integrating and providing multiple services: The financial services have gone beyond saving and giving out loans. Banks such as GTB have now integrated lifestyle into financial services. GTB has a platform called Habari; a single integrated payment platform where its customers can not stream videos and music, online shopping and access other daily services. Instead of allowing its customers to make money and spend it on other platforms, the spendings now stays within its Habari platform.

As a Start-up founder, one must be able to create multiple services and integrating system to customers. This creates multiple sources of revenue for the start-up and improves the customer experience while using the products and services. The more options on your platform, the happier the customer is.

Africa growing population: Africa’s growing population is a mix of both potential threats and opportunities. What Africa needs is the right policy to be in place. A dynamic leadership will be able to harness and unlock these potentials. Several African countries’ strengths are not in the resources, but its growing population.


Adetunji Bolorunduro – contributor

Adetunji has expertise in Business Strategy, Business Development and Chinese Investments in Africa. He writes regularly for Richtopia, Africa Business Chamber of Commerce among others.

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