While people will always need banking and other financial services, how they interact with and access these services has changed dramatically with the advent of technology. East African Business Week spoke to William Sekabembe, Chief of Business and Executive Director at dfcu Bank who gave us key takeaways from the digital transformation trends in the banking sector and how dfcu is leveraging these opportunities.
What is the progress of digital transformation in the Ugandan banking sector?
The Ugandan Banking sector is going through a digital transformation and commercial banks are looking to leverage this enabler to maintain the competitive edge in the market. The pace of digital adoption over the past two years has surpassed expectations and this trend is likely to accelerate further. The increasing role of technology has heightened customer expectations and transformed the way customers interact with financial institutions.
How do banks stand to benefit from digitally transforming their operations?
Frankly speaking, it’s a matter of remaining relevant. Today’s demand for banking services is ‘anytime anywhere banking’. Looking at the customer journey from on -boarding to account management, customers no longer want to wait for long hours in the branch and need to access their accounts whenever, wherever. Consequently, Banks in this era require innovative, agile, robust and secure systems; fully optimized and ready to meet the expectations of empowered and tech-savvy customers. Besides meeting customer expectations, digitalization of banking services improves operational efficiency and reduces the cost of intermediation.
How is dfcu Bank responding to these digital trends?
One of our strategic priorities is to transform into the ‘Next Generation’ Bank, leveraging technology to deliver value to our customers. As such, we are exploiting technology to improve our operations efficiency, increase our customer touch points and further deploy data analytics to roll out products and offer services that respond to the ‘Voice of the Customer’.
Our transformation journey from traditional to digital banking has taken the Omni-Channel direction; a multichannel approach to customer service where all the alternate business channels are strongly integrated, keeping the customer at the Centre of the integration; offering the same user experience, with transaction security (cyber security) at the core.
What are some of the digital innovations dfcu has rolled out this year?
Earlier in the year we rolled out a new Electronic Banking platform – ‘QuickBanking’, which is a robust multi-channel (Mobile and Internet) that provides seamless navigation across all channels using the same credentials allowing customers to literally carry out their banking transactions on the go. Most importantly, customers can self-onboard on to this platform remotely without visiting the branch.
We have also simplified school fees payments and collections through the Schoolpay solution. A secure and complete payment solution, School pay allows parents to make school fees/tuition payments online and on mobile using a unique payment registration number.
dfcu Agent Banking is now live and several agents have already been brought on board in several parts of the country, and this will go a long way in transforming banking in Uganda. Agent Banking is driving financial inclusion by reaching out to the underserved and unbanked communties.
Our Agent Banking proposition will be complimented with an instant account opening platform that will facilitate customers to acquire dfcu bank accounts in less than three minutes.
We will be launching an Intelligent Branch prototype before the end of this year. The intelligent branch is a fully-fledged self-service branch will open 24/7, 365 days a year.
From a digital perspective, what does the future hold for dfcu Bank?
The ever-evolving technological advances mean we must keep in change mode. We will continue to focus on further technological enhancements to meet customer changing needs. In the short-term we shall be rolling out more smart solutions like the Investment Club App and Mobiloans targeting different customer segments.
We will also continue to focus on efficiency by implementing simpler and leaner processes to deliver financial solutions faster and in a cost-effective way. To this end several of our operational, credit and on boarding processes are being automated with the objective of increasing transaction velocity.
As we integrate into our customers’ digital lifestyles, we are collaborating with leading financial technology partners to continuously deliver exciting new opportunities to our clients across all our business lines.