As a platform for the bank to collaborate and advance with the rapidly evolving Financial Technology (FinTech), First Bank of Nigeria limited has unveiled its first digital Lab at “Yabacon Valley,” Yaba, Lagos. The digital lab was born out of a sheer determination to excite users with upcoming products and services while improving their overall experience with the bank.
It isn’t uncommon to see various age old financial institutions (especially brick and mortar banks) tilting towards the area of FinTech. First Bank is just one of the many that have discovered that to keep up in this market, there needs to be a FinTech integration.
The new digital Lab gives the bank liberty to champion innovation, while also creating new digital products, and help improve the current products and processes. A part of the lab is dedicated to collaboration with FinTechs and non FinTech start-ups. There is also an area that would host key industry players from the FinTech community, providing a platform for them to give insightful talks on pressing issues in the financial technology space in Nigeria.
According to Adesola Adeduntan, managing director/CEO, who spoke at the official launch of the digital lab, he said, “Technology is disrupting the entire financial market especially the digital one, our role as the oldest, the largest bank and the bank that has always continuously reinvented itself is to ensure that we are at the fore front of those people disrupting the industry”
On her own part, Lola Ekugo, head, digital Lab said, “here in First Bank customers are first and we intend to carry that out here in the lab. For every product we design and process, we want to ensure that we connect directly with our customers, so from time to time we will invite some customers here for key things like focus groups. We have prototype of projects and products that we want to do. We want to ensure that the customers’ voice is in each and every thing that we do within the bank”.
The bank has also made a call to computer science and engineering experts or enthusiasts to come work with them at the digital lab, and being their novel ideas to life. We still wait to see if FinTech is the future of banking, or banking is the future of FinTech.