Sterling Financial Holdings Company is actively driving collaboration and partnerships with regulators, infrastructure providers, operators, and other financial services providers to bolster the security of the Nigerian consumer and improve the safety of the financial ecosystem.
Olayinka Oni, Executive Director and Group Chief Operating Officer of Sterling Financial Holdings issued this during his commencement speech at the recently held Sterling Thought Leadership Series for Information Technology, themed The State of FI Consumer Security. The session took place in Lagos and was attended by heads of information technology and security teams from banks, fintechs, consultancy firms, industry infrastructure providers and regulators such as KPMG NIBSS, Flutterwave, Wema Bank, Uniswitch and many more prominent players.
The event featured a keynote speech from KPMG, with two-panel sessions on “Predicting The Future – Preparing For The Future of Cybercrime In The Age of AI” and “Securing The Consumer: Strengthening Partnerships Between Operators & Law Enforcement”. The first panel featured the Executive Director of the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Aminu Maina, SVP at Flutterwave, Dotun Adekunle, Mayowa Owolabi of Uniswitch, with founder of AWABAH and renowned media personality, Tunji Andrews anchoring.
In his address, Oni said: “This session, which will be the first of many, will seek to enhance our collective knowledge and inspire collaborative endeavors aimed at fortifying the digital realm, especially as an increasing number of customers turn to digital channels for value delivery.”
He underscored how this platform facilitates the exchange of ideas among thought leaders, challenges traditional norms, and charts a course toward a more secure digital environment, further describing the event as a platform to anticipate the evolving threats, adapt strategies, and promote a safer digital world marked by technological advancements and heightened cyber threats.
Oni continued by saying, “This gathering represents a convergence of ideas, experiences, and visions that will drive advancements in securing the digital finance industry as our contributions and eventual decisions will have a direct impact on consumer rights, trust, and the continuity of our businesses.”
He concluded by saying that every organization participating directly acknowledges the evolving threats faced by operators and thought leaders in this space and that their presence and contribution show that they view themselves as more than just service providers, but custodians of monetary value and trust.
In a keynote address, Mr. John Anyanwu, Partner and Head of the Cyber Unit arm of KPMG Nigeria’s Risk Consulting, discussed “Strengthening the Customer and Preparing for the Emerging Digital World” by noting that disruptive technologies were already more prevalent and rapidly transforming every aspect of the world.
Anyanwu pointed out that this transformation was driven by the imperative to meet customer expectations, provide personalized and empathetic experiences, offer a unified integrated experience and anticipate issues before they arise, underscoring how these developments ultimately added value by increasing revenue, enabling faster onboarding and activation, personalizing pricing, improving customer acquisition, enhancing customer experience and loyalty, optimizing distribution and servicing channels and fostering the growth of new products and services.
However, Anyanwu cautioned that despite the numerous benefits of adopting the latest technologies, it also brought risks and concerns, including infrastructure vulnerabilities, data privacy, fraud risks, third-party risks and the need for education and awareness.
He emphasized the need for collaborative efforts among operators to address these concerns through initiatives such as cybersecurity education and awareness, cyber resilience, third-party risk management and safeguarding customer data privacy.
Outcomes of the session will include a communique that captures the submissions of the panellists and participants which will serve as the basis for the continued engagement with key stakeholders and shape policy for the delivery of service through digital channels for the financial services sector.
Sterling has maintained impressive momentum in 2023 with her citation as Africa’s Most Valuable Commercial Bank Brand for 2023 in a poll conducted by GeoPoll and Kantar for African Brand Magazine, has been named a top three employer in Nigeria by LinkedIn in the social network’s Top 25 List for 2023, and has featured on the prestigious list of the 100 fastest-growing companies in Africa for 2023, as published by the globally recognized Financial Times.
Renowned for its irreverent brand voice and enviable talent management practices, Sterling recently received three citations for Company Leadership Gender Diversity, Gender Diversity in Supply Chain, and Family-Friendly Workplace as bestowed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) at the Gender Leader Awards 2023.