Covid-19: Fast-track Digital Transformation Strategy in Financial Services

Covid-19: Fast-track Digital Transformation Strategy in Financial Services

Equity Group Executive Director, Mary Wamae and Equity Group Holdings Plc CEO and Managing Director Dr. James Mwangi during a financial investor briefing. May 9, 2019.

COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need to tap into innovation, new technologies, and cost efficiencies accelerating the digital transformation journey across various sectors.

“We should look for the opportunities that this crisis has presented to us, both us as leaders, and also as consumers,” said Mrs. Mary Wangari Wamae Equity Group Executive Director of the Groups’ Subsidiaries at Leading Women in Banking and Finance e-conference hosted by the Kenya Bankers Association.

According to Wamae, the COVID-19 pandemic started as a health crisis and because of the measures that had to be taken, it led to an economic crisis.  

“The impact on the economy has been very, very dramatic, very drastic and I think all the sectors have been affected,” she emphasized.

Besides key sectors like tourism and hospitality, construction, and manufacturing being affected as a result of reduced incomes and disruption of the value chains, she said many resorted to digital technologies.

The crisis created new opportunities such as digital adoption and the flourishing of e-commerce in areas like online shopping and contactless Payments.

“We have already started (digital transformation) even before the crisis, but what is happening now is that everybody is fast-tracking and adopting digital,” says Wamae.

She emphasized that the current crisis has provided an opportunity to bring to enhance the financial sector’s digital strategy and technology transformation. She notes that this will result in new business models on value generation, new revenue sources and differentiated customer experiences.

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The Communications Authority of Kenya in its Sector Statistics Report for the Fourth Quarter of the 2019/20 Financial Year it also emphasized that “The ICT sector continues to play a critical role in Kenya’s response to the pandemic, especially mobile money, which is a critical enabler of financial inclusion, Internet access has become a gateway to critical information, services and opportunities available to many people.”

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) Africa Regional e-Conference for Leading Women in Banking and Finance begun Thursday and ends 16th October 2020.

It is themed “Breaking Barriers and Redefining Leadership in Africa.”

Pertinent topics being covered include the impacts of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the financial services sector, and transformational leadership and cross-generational culture management approach.

KBA held the inaugural Leading Women in Banking and Finance Symposium in Nairobi in 2016 as a means to encourage gender inclusivity in the financial services sector. 

The Association sponsors the Leading Women in Banking and Finance initiative which has provided a platform for leadership capacity building and networking.

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