Digital Transformation: a top-three priority for banks, says new report

Digital Transformation: a top-three priority for banks, says new report

Digital Transformation: a top-three priority for banks, says new report
Digital Transformation: a top-three priority for banks, says new report

African Banker

The African Banking Digital Transformation Report, a collaboration between pan-African publication African Banker and Backbase, creators of The Engagement Banking Platform, is a cornerstone in Africa’s financial news landscape, offering in-depth insight into the digital revolution being undertaken by the banking sector across the continent.

A growing African population – forecast to be 2.49 billion by 2050 – coupled with spectacular increases in the number of devices such as smartphones and tablets (mobile phones now account for 75% of web traffic in Africa) is the perfect recipe for an explosion in digital banking. Benefits include speed, convenience, and enhanced user data, meaning that banks can much more readily tailor solutions for their clients. In 2021 – the last year for which full figures are available – 55.07% of the African population owned a bank or mobile money account, compared to 23.33% in 2011. 

Digital: the way forward

The 2024 edition of The African Banking Digital Transformation Report revealed that 76% of banks rank digital transformation as either their top priority or among the top three, while the remaining 24% also view it as important. With almost half of the continent unable to access any form of bank account, including approximately 60% of women, this result reflects the opportunity for banks to grow their customer base through an inclusive digital offering. 

“I really see AI as a game-changer, both internally and externally” 

This year, cloud computing was the most cited technology being incorporated into digitisation strategies. This overtakes Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity&Resilience as the primary driver since our 2023 survey. The result can be explained through the growing sophistication of AI solutions, which sees it spill over into other technology areas including Cybersecurity.

Interviewed for the report, Ecobank Group Chief Digital Officer Nvalaye Kourouma said: “I really see AI as a game-changer, both internally and externally” because AI-powered tools help overcome language barriers for engaging customers in different countries. “We now have the capability to build local natural languages into our AI interactions so that language and writing are no longer barriers. Speech and image can be used to communicate more effectively. AI opens the door for a different level of engagement with our customers, so it’s encouraging,” he added.

The 2024 edition of the Report draws on comprehensive survey data from more than 150 banks spanning 35 countries, providing an in-depth analysis of current digital banking trends, key innovations, and digital transformation progress. This release underscores Backbase’s commitment to fostering technological advancements and driving financial inclusion in Africa.

The African Digital Banking Transformation Report was launched during GITEX Africa 2024, which took place 29 – 31 May in Marrakesh, Morocco. The report is available to download now:

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Banker.

About Backbase:
Backbase is on a mission to re-architect banking around the customer. We are the creators of The Engagement Banking Platform – a composable platform that empowers banks to accelerate their digital transformation through progressively modernizing their main customer-journeys. From onboarding to servicing, lending and investing, our platform streamlines every aspect of the customer- and employee-journey. Pre-integrated with leading core systems and cutting-edge fintechs, it allows institutions to unlock innovation at scale, driving instant value creation.

Industry analysts Forrester, Gartner, Celent, Omdia and IDC continuously recognize Backbase’s category leadership. More than 120 financial institutions around the world have embraced the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform — including AIB, Banorte, Barclays, BIAT, Bank of the Philippine Islands, BDO, BNP Paribas, Banque Saudi Fransi, BRD, Citibank, Discovery Bank, First National Bank, HDFC, Ila Bank, KeyBank, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest, Navy Federal Credit Union, OTP Group, PostFinance, Raiffeisen, Standard Bank, Saudi National Bank, Société Générale, Truist and TPBank.

Backbase is a private fintech company, founded in 2003 in Amsterdam where it has its global HQ, with regional offices in Atlanta (Americas HQ), Cardiff, Dubai, Hyderabad, Kraków, London, Mexico City, Singapore (Asia HQ), Sydney, and Toronto.

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About African Banker:
African Banker is the leading publication dedicated to reporting on the banking industry across Africa. With insightful coverage on finance, politics, business, technology, energy, and resources, African Banker provides in-depth analysis and commentary on the trends shaping the continent’s financial landscape.

As a trusted source of information, African Banker brings a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing Africa’s banking sector, and a unique readership following them.