KARACHI: Citibank N.A., Pakistan (Citi) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) hosted a session on digitization, transformation and market disruptors which is bringing in evolution; taking place in the banking industry on a global scale.
The event, held at the SBP, was chaired by Syed Irfan Ali, Executive Director, Banking Policy and Regulations Group (BPRG), SBP, and was led by Naveed Sultan, Citi’s Global Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions.
Fintechs and microfinance banks could hold the key for future success in key industries and banks, said Naveed Sultan. Going from physical to digital realms means tapping ways in which change needs to be brought in banking capabilities through investment in disruptive technologies and transforming core infrastructure. These will quickly become vital to the survival of commercial banks in the future he emphasized.
World dynamics are rapidly changing. In 2012, the flow of goods, services and finance was $26 trillion; by 2025, it is projected to be $85tr. Urban population in 2014 accounted for 54% of the world’s population – a number that will grow to 75% by 2050. E-Commerce sales have touched almost $2tr in 2017. As businesses evolve, the manner in which business is done must evolve along with them he continued.
“SBP is committed to building a modern and robust payment system in Pakistan, and fully supports digitization and the development of digital financial services in the industry,” Mr. Syed Irfan Ali pointed out in his opening remarks. In financial inclusion, he said, non-bank intermediaries will play a key role in the provision of financial access to the financially excluded population in the country.
“There is huge potential in technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), distributed ledgers, cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT), which can provide cost effective and efficient product and services to customers”.
Naveen Sultan agreed with these themes. “Secular trends of globalization and digitization are transforming economies and industries including financial services. Developing a strategic approach towards innovation and digitalization is a critical driver of success for companies and banks to succeed in this new environment and stay relevant to its clients and other constituents” he said.
The session was attended by senior bankers and executives from telecommunication companies.