Africa’s Ecobank targets 100m customer growth from mobile banking in 2020

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LAGOS  – Africa’s Ecobank expects its new digital banking platform to help to boost its customer base across the continent to  from 13 million by 2020, it said after announcing that it had signed up 1.5 million personal accounts through the mobile app.

Ecobank has operations in nearly 40 African nations, some of which have been pressured by the commodity price slide and unfavourable currency swings that have prompted the bank to strengthen its focus on the relatively stable consumer market.

“We have brought financial services to the mobile phone … to have instant account, payment and receipt across Africa,” Ecobank’s head of consumer banking Patrick Akinwunta said on Wednesday, adding that digital operations will also reduce the company’s cost base.

Shares in the bank were down 2 percent on Wednesday at 9.80 naira, having shed 2.7 percent so far this year. The shares fell by 39 percent in 2016 after a drop in nine-month pretax profit to $281 million in October from $398 million a year earlier.[nFWN1CY13Q]

Though Ecobank generates about 40 percent of its business in recession-hit Nigeria, where several lenders have adapted their business models after low crude prices put pressure on previously lucrative oil and gas loan books, Akinwunta said there potential for significant growth at low cost because only a third of Africans have bank accounts.

 

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Godwin Okafor is a financial journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and the Founder Naija247news Media Ltd He has over 16 experiences in journalism, which cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career in Business Day, Where he was a senior editorial graphic artist, before he left to start Naija247news, An Online Financial Newspaper in 2010. He has won series of awards and he is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.com and also sits on the board of Students In Business Awards, (SIBA). He currently lives in Manhattan New York

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