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Frienemies: Segun Agbaje says GTB not afraid of Fintech

MD/CEO, Guarantee Trust Bank, Segun Agbaje

GTBank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Segun Agbaje, says the emergence of Fintech and Network Providers in the banking sector doesn’t frighten him despite their disruption of the banking industry.

Agbaje stated this during a session at the Social Media Week 2020 held at Landmark Event Center.

FinTech companies operating in the banking space are often termed “Neo banks” or “Challenger Banks” and have disrupted the sector all over the world with innovation and faster route to market.

He stated that winning the digital payment race is more than just possessing the best of technology. While Agbaje admitted that the fintech and telecommunications companies are pulling their weight and making inroads into the banking space, their presence poses no threat to him and GTBank.

The Band executive said, “I have no fear for Telcos; we are ready for Telcos. All we ask for is an equal level playing field.”

There have been arguments as to which sector or firms will dominate the mobile payment market after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) began to offer licenses to fintechs and network providers in order to ensure the growth of financial inclusion.

Currently, the digital payment market is saturated by several digital payment firms, but during his presentation, Agbaje identified the likes of OPay, PayPal, Cowrywise, Piggybank, MTN, Square, Monzo, Venmo, Cash App, Apple Pay, and Monzo as rivals that are exploiting the growing disconnect between the traditional banks’ services and the evolving customer needs.

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Though public sentiment is in favour of the Fintechs and Telcos triumphing over the traditional banks, for Agbaje, anybody with the ability to leverage digital technology can become banks’ competitor.

According to the GTBank boss, winning the digital payment race or dominating the market is beyond just acquiring the best of technology, because technology will become a commodity available to all.

“I will take a leap of faith today. The easy answer will be for me to say to you, the best who has the best technology will win, but I will be lying to you because technology will become a commodity… So technology will never be the differentiator,” Agbaje stated.

He affirmed that the race would be won by the company using the best technology to offer the best of customer experience. This would result in customer loyalty and cause loyalty switch in the customer base of the digital payment market. “Today, customers don’t want service, they want experience,” Agbaje said.

“So the person that is going to win, whether its fintech, telco or bank, is the one built by technology but that can still give you that feeling that there are people who care about you, that this organisation cares about you.

The Nigerian FinTech Awards 2020 are open for entries. Click to start your online entry here: https://bit.ly/37ulpYS