Adesola Adeduntan, FBN, Fintechs, Technology

FBN emphasises use of AI, offers N5.25m in grant to fintechs


First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) wants financial institutions to optimise technology disruption for accountability, efficiency and drive competitive edge in the market.

The bank added that though financial services industry tends to focus on access and risk, it is committed, especially in a field so rich in opportunity, to support fintech solutions that enhance businesses.

Managing Director/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited & Subsidiaries, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, stressed that technologies like artificial intelligence and big data need to become part and parcel of financial institutions’ business models across the board.

Speaking during the FirstBank Fintech Summit 2.0 in Lagos, he said FBN is keen at providing solution to the problem of Big data in banks to meet customer needs even before they arise.

The fintech summit came after a two-day hacking boot on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big data at the FirstBank Digital Lab, where young tech experts were selected and expected to apply artificial intelligence in new ways to enhance banking operations and practices.

The first position, Team Cashflow was given N3 million, team Ace got N1.5million as the second position while team Cyber Smart got N750, 000 as third position.

Adding that the new payment services technology supports fast and secured transactions, Adeduntan said there also lies better informed investment decisions and improved risk management risks using the new data technology.He noted that fintechs can help banks deliver cost efficient, more personalized and tailored services.

The Hackathon, according him, was to improve business efficiency, boost financial inclusion, by proffering solutions that make payment easy.

“As a leading banking services solutions provider, FirstBank has continued to set the pace in the financial services industry by coming up with new initiatives to provide financial products and services with greater speed, accountability and efficiency.

“To remain competitive, banks must make the most of this disruptive change. At the moment, some actors are using this new technology so enthusiastically that it’s hard to keep up whilst others are still channeling too much investment in old systems,” Adedeuntan said.

He added that FBN is committed to protecting customers and investors while ensuring the risk framework enables it take full advantage of these technologies.

In his words: “I am committed to ensuring we find the right balance in our approach and do not overanalyze a budding industry that needs space to grow.

“Recently, we launched our Digital/Innovation Lab. The lab operates a model that is akin to that of fintechs with the required agility to swiftly develop and roll-out innovative financial products and services. It also anchors and manages our collaboration and partnership with fintech firms to promote financial inclusion through innovation.“At FirstBank, our promise is to always deliver the ultimate ‘gold standard’ of value and excellence.”