Nigeria: Expert Advocates New Roles for CEOs, CFOs in Financial Technology Adoption

12 September 2019

Following the rise in emerging technologies globally, that are currently shaping financial transactions, a financial technology expert has called for the adoption of new roles for chief executive offices (CEOs) and chief finance officers (CFOs) of financial institutions.

This, he said would enable them align with the technology evolution currently sweeping across global financial institutions.

Speaking at a financial technology workshop organised by Microsoft in partnership with the Harvard Business Review in Lagos, recently, the Partner/Experience Center and Emerging Technologies Leader at PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Nigeria, Mr. Femi Osinubi, said: "Technology is taking over from the financial sector, therefore, new roles need to be adopted to guide the daily operations of finance officers in financial institutions".

Osinubi however noted that the future of financial institutions goes beyond technology and includes people and processes.

According to him, finance executives and machines could work together to drive financial transactions in financial institutions.

"The future of finance is now. In changing its role, finance can also meet the needs of both the business and its workforce, and a digital core competence will enable to accelerate this.

"A different set of skills and competencies, a modern finance workplace and career path flexibility will also be required, and billions of dollars are going into this investment in the world at large," Osinubi said.

He added: "You can start on different pathways, but the opportunity to transform and deliver value is lost if the pathways don't come together. "Different models should also be considered when running financial institutions as finance can respond and drastically change its impact with business."

Emphasising the changing the narrative and the transformation to modern finance, Osinubi canvassed for finance modern work spaces.

"Different work spaces should also be created for the finance people in the future. It shouldn't be your regular work station.

"In the future, people wouldn't want to come to work unless you make that place very interesting. It is not just human practice because you are just too smart to stay in a workplace for a long time.

"So you have to define a role for them because they are very useful.

"There should be office layouts including collaboration spaces and tele-presence, flexible working arrangements, flexible resource pools and technology to enable virtual teaming.

"The finance function will be significantly more effective as a result. It will be able to pivot to an advisory role for the business," Osinubi added.

In his presentation, he also noted that different models should also be considered when running financial institutions

"Robots across all processes have to be put in place. The robots would always be counted as part of the finance team, because they work 24/7, they don't go on leave, they don't go on strike or public holidays, they work 168 hours a week.

"Technology is taking over from the financial sector so machine learning which is part of Artificial intelligence (AI) should be inculcated. It actually learns fraud pattern, enables it in your system, and also tackles the fraud in the organisations," he said.

He further explained that the success in any financial transaction is not entirely about technology, but also about the people which also include robots and AI Machines.

"We are going to have an up-skilled workforce that is digitally savvy, supplemented with human and machine based roles with a highly effective operating model, Osinubi added.

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