The Netherlands-based banking expert Bjorn Schrijver has advised commercial banks in a partnership with Rabobank to leverage digital financial services if they are to remain in business.
Rabobank, a Dutch multinational banking and financial services company based in Utrecht, The Netherlands, is a partnership with banks in nine countries— Malawi, Tanzania, The Netherlands, India, Myanmar, Paraguay, Brazil, Zambia and Uganda.
Back home, Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed NBS Bank is the only bank in Rabobank network.
In an interview on Monday at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi during the 2018 Rabobank Partners Chief Operating Officers (COO) Conference, Schrijver, who is Rabobank senior project manager advisory services, warned that most banks will become irrelevant if they fail to keep up with the pace of rapidly developing technologies.
“The world is changing. There is also a need for a corresponding stance. In this case, let us embrace digital banking and enhance it even to the rural areas,” he said.
Schrijver stressed that as technologies develop, banks need to think about innovation, but also transforming by doing things that correspond with the contemporary world.
He said with digital financial services coupled with the intensification of cyber security, NBS Bank just like other local banks, are on course to grow and bring more impact to the economy.
To this end, Schrijver urged banks to step up efforts to promote and guarantee safety of customers’ money, ensure accessibility and availability of money all the time, saying this will build peoples’ trust over banks.
In his remarks, NBS Bank board chairperson Vizenge Kumwenda, who is also managing director of Nico Holdings plc, said they would embark on civic education nationwide to enhance usage of digital banking as one way of ensuring that rural people are banked.
He said NBS Bank is in the process of expanding digital banking to achieve financial inclusion agenda.
“We are striving to break physical and location barriers. We want to be efficient and convenient by bringing services to people’s doorsteps,” he said.
Rabobank provides an opportunity for banking pundits to meet and discuss challenges they meet in the banking world and how to deal with those challenges.