BDO EA Rwanda, one of the largest audit and tax advisory firms in Rwanda, together with BDO South Africa, last week held a financial services roadshow aimed at discussing and seeking solutions to the challenges which “specifically keep CEOs of banks in Africa awake at night”.
The tour attracted officials from the Central Bank of Rwanda and other senior banking and finance executives.
Cultural change and evolving business models (digitalization), regulatory compliance, security vulnerabilities, continuous innovation, growing competition, rising customer expectations, customer retention, outdated apps and mobile experiences have all been identified as key challenges in the banking sector.
Panel discussions, presentations from industry experts and a general interactive session for sharing ideas and solutions brought together different players from the banking industry, experts from the financial services industry and the BDO Rwanda and Africa team. from South.
Suggested solutions to challenges include collecting and managing data, using automation and technology, managing and retaining talent, financing, financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked emphasizing special groups such as women and young people, among others.
According to Nevellan Moodley, partner and head of financial services technology at BDO SA, as well as an IT audit specialist, the use of digital currencies and other digital solutions could be a long-term remedy for most problems in the sector. .
He noted that investing in cryptocurrency is always risky and there are many controversies surrounding the topic. “If you ask me, I will honestly say that there is no way to guarantee total regulation on this,” he continued, “however, if a region, like the EAC, or the entire continent resolves to create a common digital currency, it will promote greater business collaboration and financial inclusion.”
Rwanda, he noted, is in a much more favorable position for digital currency. “To date, there have been 4.2 million unique crypto transactions with Rwanda’s IP address.” “There’s less stigma and more adaptability here because mobile and digital transactions are already used in everyday life,” he said.
Kenya ranks third in the world in terms of number of cryptocurrency holders, behind only Ukraine and Russia. According to experts, this puts the EAC region in a good place to use digital currency.
Regarding the use of technology in other areas of life, such as rangefinders, Moodley recalled that technology is no longer the future but is already present.
In agreement, Pierre Jacobs, Financial Services Partner at BDO SA, stressed the importance of having women, young people and disadvantaged people well represented in the sector. “There is a need for collaboration at all levels to link opportunities and funding and make data-driven decisions,” he said.
He also hailed Rwanda’s efforts to bridge the inequality gap since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Angelique Kantengwa, Partner Corporate Advisory Rwanda, responded, “Rwanda remains open to learning and information in areas where we still fall short, such as learning more about cryptocurrency and better ways to protect our people, as well as data collection, projection and management.”
“Despite our progress, we still have a long way to go, and we encourage young people to learn more about themselves, identify challenges and be ready to step in as we close the gaps,” she said. .
BDO is a global audit firm with a branch office in Rwanda, providing auditing and business outsourcing services which include accounting and tax advisory services.
BDO EA Rwanda Ltd is part of BDO East Africa, a centralized network of offices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia with 11 partners and over 250 professionals.
The firm is also a member of BDO International.
It shares its resources, methodologies, quality control processes, technological resources and also uses its strengths and knowledge to serve clients in neighboring countries such as Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, South Sudan, Somalia, DR Congo, through a network of partner companies.