On 10th April 2018, the Euromoney East Africa Conference, brought together some of the leading financial institutions and players in East Africa to discuss the disruption happening in the banking and financial space.
Among the attendees included the CBK governor, Patrick Njoroge, CEO, KCB, Joshua Oigara, and Governor of Naitonal Bank of Rwanda, John Rwangombwa.
The Digital Disruption in Finance
According to the SVP, World Bank Group, Dr. Mahmoud Mohleldin, “Kenya has 75% financial inclusion, which is impressive.” Despite his obvious reservations towards Bitcoin, even comparing it to ponzi schemes and saying it is ‘not good for financial stability,’ the move towards digital was clearly echoed across the board.
According to Joshua Oigara, “The digital revolution has offered the industry an excellent platform for integrating fiancial services across the different markets and serving our customers well.” He went on to say that the traditional banking craft has now shifted to providing a wholesome mobile experience to customers.
Even with this digital disruption, CBK Governor, Njoroge, was quick to warn that customers need to understand and be helped to know how their data is being used. They need the assurance that it is not being in unauthorized ways.
The Blockchain Technology – A Total Disruption?
One of the highlights of the event was Joshua Oigara’s comment on the blockchain technology.
According to the CEO, blockchain technology will play a pivotal role in disruption. He went further to admit that KCB is looking to continue being at the forefront of innovation which the company believes will be essential for the delivery of premier services to its customers.
He concluded by offering a prediction saying that “over the next 2-3 years, we want to see a situation where up to 90% of all transactions are taking place on the digital platform. That is what I call a total disruption for the industry.”
The digital disruption is clearly something we cannot ignore and the financial industry is keeping up with the trends and trying to catch and remain relevant in the space.
Whether the blockchain technology will bring that ‘total disruption’ remains to be seen.