First Bank of Nigeria Limited on Thursday inaugurated a digital lab to leverage technology for better service delivery in all of its banking channels.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, the bank’s Managing Director, said the digital lab would champion innovation within the bank for efficient services.
Adeduntan said technology had remained the driving force of the banking industry throughout the world, including Nigeria.
“Digital technology is actually disrupting the entire ecosystem; technology is disrupting the entire financial market especially, the digital space.
“Our role as the oldest bank, the largest bank and a bank that has also continuously reinvented itself is to ensure that we are in the forefront of those people disrupting the industry.
“If you don’t lead disruption, you stand the risk that you will be disrupted,” Adeduntan said.
He said the initiative would give the bank an edge in the market to lead digital innovations, not just in Nigeria but in all other countries where it operates.
“This is very important part of our business and it is what we believe will take us to the next level.
“It is not about making money, it is about protecting the money you are making.
“If you remember 10, 30 years ago, if people tell us that we can transfer money through the phone and the beneficiary will get it immediately, we will all say no.
“It is those kinds of land breaking innovations that we will expect from this digital lab,” he added.
Adeduntan said the initiative would boost employment generation and create money for many start-ups with quality innovations and ideas.
“We are not going to be working on our own, we are also going to collaborate with a number of financial technology companies who are also located in this environment,” said the managing director.
He said the digital lab would increase the bank’s profitability because many banking products would be launched through the initiation.
Adeduntan said the bank decided to open the lab at Yaba, Lagos because it was known as the Silicon Valley of Nigeria and the hub of technology.
Mrs Lola Ekugo, Head, Digital Lab, described the opening of the digital lab as a milestone in the history of the bank.
Ekugo said the imitative reflected the bank’s continued commitment to innovation and to expand its digital footprint.
She said the importance of technology and its utilisation across the banking and financial sector could not be overemphasised.
Ekugo said the creation of value through ideas, products and business modules was critical for the bank to maintain its competitiveness.
“First bank is committed at championing innovations to create new digital experiences, enhance existing products to boost digital presence through collaborations to enhance strategic partnership,” Ekugo said.