Consider mergers and acquisitions of Fintechs to drive innovation

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Edel Technologies, Ethel Cofie,

Ethel Cofie to banks

To deepen banks’ agility and drive innovation, CEO of Edel Technologies, Ethel Cofie has encouraged banks not to be satisfied with outsourcing their tech needs, but rather, to consider mergers or acquisitions with financial technology (Fintech) companies.

This, she stressed, will prepare banks and financial institutions for any Fintech revolution that is likely to come in future.

“I doubt that innovation within the banking sector is going to come from the banking sector and people who work in the banks right now. It is not going to happen. There are an amazing number of young people who are building amazing payment platforms, rethinking payment processing, front-ends, ways of ensuring that you can keep your core.

So part of it is for banks to understand that they might not necessarily have just the capacity in-house to build these solutions, but they need to start doing mergers and acquisitions and looking at fintechs that are being built.

And so, if you are a bank, have an in-house M&A department that is actively always looking to acquire and buy fintechs in your country or the next country. Partner with them, buy them, work with them, so that you are extending yourself and getting yourself ready for any fintech revolution that comes,” she said.

Ms. Cofie made the call at the latest edition of the Ghana’s Most Respected CEOs (GMRCEOs) breakfast series organized by the Business and Financial Times on Wednesday 28th April, 2021, in Accra.

Also commenting on the subject, Daniel Addo, CEO of Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG), who was also a speaker at the event, however, had a different view, saying, banks and Fintechs are not competitors, but rather collaborators in the industry, hence, it would be sufficient for banks to outsource some of its services to them, rather than outright acquisition.

“For us as banks, we need to look at our business models and ask ourselves, are we the ones to innovate payment systems or we work with the Fintechs? So do we see the Fintechs as competitors collaborators? A bank or any organization typically does not want to own everything that they use for production. You will always outsource certain services.

So the Fintech is my collaborator and I am happy to collaborate to take the service and happy to help that Fintech to grow because ultimately, it grows my business too. So we are not in competition,” he stated.

While he agrees with his colleague regarding collaboration with Fintechs Dominic Adu, CEO of FNB Ghana maintained that there is the need to deepen such partnerships for mutual benefit.

He noted: “We are also out to collaborate because as a bank, we are not agile enough to be able to come out with a new technology. But the realization by all MDs is that, if we do not collaborate, they will survive and we will die over time.”

The theme for this edition of GMRCEOs series is: ‘Business Adaptability and Sustainability in 2021: The role and impact of Finance and Technology.’

The event featured prominent industry players including Daniel Kwadwo Owusu, Country Manager for Deloitte Ghana, Ethel Coffie, Nana Dwemoh Benneh, CEO of UMB; Dominic Adu, CEO of FNB Ghana, Leticia Browne, CEO of Intelligent Capital Group and Daniel Addo, CEO of CBG.

1 COMMENT

  1. Really considering of becoming very big establishments/institutions with this ever-changing world, Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) with Fintech companies are a must for Banks and other Financial institutions, thus incorporating their IT and Research & Development (R&D) Departments into fully-fledged Divisions (of such Banks and other Financial institutions); that way, Banks and other Financial institutions will grow exponentially, thus increasing their top-line and bottom-line growths. This is the right time for Banks and other Financial institutions consideration for great innovative exercises.

    On the other hand collaborations with Fintech companies are just fine if the Banks and other Financial institutions want to fully adhere to their core functions. But, it must be noted that the world is fastly changing, Technology and Innovation-wise, and such innovative considerations SHOULD be given a serious thought.

    Let it NOT be said that “Had l known”; for it will surely always be at last. This time presents the BEST OPPORTUNITIES; think and grow !!!

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