Banking sector needs to adapt to shift in digital solutions

Banking sector needs to adapt to shift in digital solutions

While the bankers are bracing to the wave of change, the tech companies are eagerly waiting to tap business opportunities emerging from the Middle East.



by

Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Wed 21 Oct 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 21 Oct 2015, 12:18 PM

When the top chief information officers of the region descend among the masses to assess the market pulse, they all come out with one consensus: change or get left behind.
As the fraternity brainstorms on the future of banking sector and the challenges ahead in digital solutions it is apparent some are ready to just embrace the change while some are still making to the finishing line to cater to an ever-growing customer demand due to the surge in technology that is provided by the sector. Many such issues were deliberated on Tuesday, the third day of Gitex Technology Week.
The panel discussion on "Digital Disruption in Banking", which was moderated by Akshaya Gaur, CIO of Mashreq, was joined by speakers Gopi Krishnan, CIO of Qatar Islamic Bank, and Amol Wasudeo Natu, etisalat's director for product management of digital commerce services.
Natu said: "Etisalat is the solutions provider to the banks which are facing huge challenge from ever growing customer needs due to rise in technology adaptation by the sector. Today the sector is under tremendous pressure to offer an omni-channel presence to the customers both online and in real-life too to offer seamless customer experience. Etisalat is here to provide solutions for omni-channel banking and is equipped with assets like location information, digital presence, customer profile and many more to help the sector to keep up with the competitive environment. We are extending similar services to retail organisations, government sector and across many business segments. We firmly believe we can add value to the businesses as well as to the banks as technology partner."
While the bankers are bracing to the wave of change, the tech companies are eagerly waiting to tap business opportunities emerging from the Middle East.
"'Being out of business' is the cost of not adapting to digital technology. We have to act now to avoid being displaced and achieve a first-mover advantage, or become a high-quality fast follower. Digital transformation isn't a project; it's a mindset of continual learning and innovation and hence it is important to assess and adapt to new social and customer behaviours and continuously learn and innovate to stay ahead of the curve," said Krishnan.
The session also had a presentation by Francois Chaffard, director of banking solutions and services at Gemalto, under the theme "Mobile payment at the forefront of the digital banking transformation".
Chaffard said: "Technology alone is not enough banks need to maximise service adoption to offer frictionless experience to customers with instant enrolment and activation which are vital for banking services."
The banking sector also focused on the second theme "Big Business, Big Data". The presentations were made by Saudi Arabia's National Inforamation Centre. This was followed by a panel session on "Driving excellence in digital banking" by Kazim Ali, head of corporate banking at Noor Bank; Abdul Wahab Al Halabi, group chief investment officer of Meraas Holding; and Eugene Eckard, regional director for the Middle East at Tuxedo.
The highlight of the day's discussion was a presentation done by Marcello Baricordi, UAE general manager at Visa, under the theme "How Big Data will transform banking".
Baricordi said: "The UAE is a very fertile territory for innovation. We are building our innovation centre in Dubai and the progress is on track which will open by the year-end. The objective of this centre will be to co-develop products for the smartcity. We are currently working on technologies which will displace use of cash with pave way and Visa token sevice."
- sandhya@khaleejtimes.com


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