As new bank, Sun Trust, makes debut in Nigeria
By Ada Anioji
If you had thought the launch this week of Sun Trust Bank Ltd, a new financial services player promising a heavy infusion of technology into the Nigerian financial services environment was an isolated event, you had better think again.
This is because experts are already hazarding that even more revolutionary technology-based initiatives may be in the works.
And the view from business players also corroborates this even as they keep a watching brief on the new-kid-on-the-block. Speaking at the event itself, Africa’s richest man and president of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said that the operations of the technology-driven bank will distinguish it and make it the most cost-effective bank in the country, as it will not be burdened with the costs of running branches.
The industrialist commended the board, management and staff of the bank for their courage in taking the bold step at a time when “banks all over the world are facing multiple challenges and headwinds” and noted that the bank’s focus will almost incevitably help it succeed.
SunTrust, which has just unveiled its unique financial technology-driven banking services in the country, is the first bank in the country that is run with minimal branches and has no tellers or counters.
The bank is also focused on driving mobile money in the South-South and South West regions where it is licensed to do business, to increase the number of financially included Nigerians.
Dangote said: “SunTrust bank has two elements that appeal to me by focusing on technology. Everything is now technology-driven with Fin Tech. SunTrust has recognised that the old model of business expansion via a network of expensive branch premises is obsolete. What you need now is to sit down at home and operate your banking transactions without any branch, which means you save money in terms of time.