• Targets customer enrolment of over 2m in 17 months, offers seamless Omni-channel experience
By Obinna Chima
It was a historic moment at the weekend when Skye Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s largest retail lenders, unveiled a new digital banking solution called SkyeXperience.
The solution which was developed in collaboration with Oracle Corporation, the world’s leading computer technology company, has been described by financial technology experts as a game-changing innovation that is poised to put industry competitors in the digital catch-up mode.
A statement from the bank’s management yesterday said SkyeXperience is a robust platform designed to deliver Omni-channel user experience across multiple devices, as well as boost its digital competitiveness objective which is projected to grow Skye Bank’s e-payment enabled customer base to over 2 million by end of 2018.
During the unveiling, the Chairman of Skye Bank, Mr. Mohammad Ahmad described the launch of SkyeXperience as “a timely intervention in the banking industry and a modest contribution towards the economic development of Nigeria, especially in the area of financial technology and digital evolution”.
The chairman also thanked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for leading the way to the future through its e-payment System Vision (PSV 2020).
The vision is expected to ensure that majority of Nigerians, irrespective of their social status, embrace e-channels as a primary and convenient means of their daily transactions, said the statement.
In his address, the bank’s Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru said the development was a display of the bank’s commitment to its valued customers who have continued to not only do business with the bank, but have also challenged it on how best to serve them.
“As a pledge of commitment to a new service charter with our customers, we have decided to render to you this digital banking solution, which we have called SkyeXperience denoting such positive values as: experience, excellence, excitement and experiential,” he said.
Senior Vice President, Oracle Financial Services Mr. Chet Kamat, heralding the launch of SkyeXperiance, stated: “In a dynamic digital landscape, banks need to compete for customer attention by continuous innovation.
“Oracle and Skye Bank have been associated with each other for over a decade. Oracle’s solution, Oracle Banking Digital Experience, built on open standards architecture helps drive a digital-first proposition, accelerating Skye Bank’s digital journey and delivering greater flexibility, and mobility to their customers.”
Chief Information Officer (CIO), Skye Bank Mr. Richard Amafonye described SkyeXperience as “a new and unique Omni-channel digital banking solution, which is a response to shifts in customer behaviour and preferences. It is one of the results of our long standing work with Oracle on our strategic technology re-platforming initiative”.
Jost Hoppermann, a UK-based Technology Consultant and former Director of Architecture, DG Bank – the third largest Bank in Germany – in one of his presentations on innovative banking software, listed among others, the differentiators of Omni-channel banking solutions to include: customer experience and business capabilities delivery, noting that solutions with multiple differentiators are best suited to help banks win, serve, and retain customers.
Payments through electronic channels are fast gaining traction in Nigeria. This is evident in the data on volume and value of transactions that have been done through the channels in recent times.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the total value of electronic payment transactions in the banking system stood at N65 trillion in 2016, while the total volume of electronic payment transactions was put at 910,186,115 transactions in the same period.
The CBN has said that attaining the e-Payment System Vision 2020 (PSV 2020) would be the catalyst to revolutionise the payment system in Nigeria.
According to the statement, the key value proposition of SkyeXperience is that its Omni-channel capability would help to simplify service delivery and personalise customer experience.
It would enable enhanced security of transactions and empowers customer self-service.
Using the SkyeXperience, customers can now perform such transactions as: setting up standing transfer instructions to family members, transferring money to distant relations or business partners, opening of new accounts and requesting for and stopping of debit cards.
They can also conveniently view and monitor all their accounts activities simultaneously.
Customers of the bank who attended the unveiling ceremony acknowledged that SkyeXperience will further support Skye Bank’s branch footprint across the country, as customers especially SMEs can now make hassle-free transactions across distant locations.