Name The Banks’ CIO Forum (BCIOF) Category Seminars

Navigating the digital transformation Journey Colombo – 2020

The Banks’ CIO Forum and Ernst & Young jointly hosted a forum on ‘Navigating the Digital Transformation Journey’ on 5th March at the Hilton Colombo. The discussion at this forum swirled around practical aspects of the banking and finance ecosystem transformations and shed light on some use case best practices.

The keynote on ‘Powering digital through FinTechs’ was delivered by Sachin Seth, Partner – Digital, Fintech and Tech. Transformation Leader EY Advisory (Africa, India and Middle East). The forum also featured two tracks, ‘Intelligent Automation – Delighting the consumer’ and ‘Creating a Data driven Bank with data, analytics and Machine Learning’.

Commenting on the forum, Seth said: “With Sri Lanka understanding the true potentials of FinTech in the Banking and Financial Services Industry (BFSI), now the industry must get to embedding Fintech to create value in its own value chain. For a CIO, it is not about merely deploying a project, but understanding the ‘what’ and ‘how’ digital can comprehend and complement to unify the many functionalities and business units and, how it all could be stitched together.”

Intelligent automation presents a great opportunity to enhance customer experience by allowing smoother and faster interactions with their bank. Further, this allows employees to focus on more value adding work which requires human intervention.

The track on Intelligent Automation was led by Anant Gupta – Partner Advisory Services Ernst & Young, co-lead Digital Operations and Finance Transformation practice in India together with Sachin Seth – Partner Digital, Fintech and Tech. Transformation Leader EY Advisory (Africa, India and Middle East), Conrad Dias, Non-Executive Board Director of LOLC Holdings PLC, Director/CEO of LOLC Finance PLC as panellists and Nisthar Cassim, Editor/Chief Executive Officer, Daily FT Sri Lanka as the moderator.

On the flip side, banks across the country look at data as an asset. Harnessing the true potential of data to become a data driven organization has been a challenge for most. Creating a data driven bank requires more than technology enablement.

Nidhi Sinha – Director, Enterprise Intelligence and Analytics in Financial Advisory, EY India lead the parallel track on ‘Creating a Data driven Bank’ together with panellists, Yasith Fernando, Senior Manager, Digital Transformation, Data and Analytics, EY Advisory Sri Lanka, and Virendra Perera, Chief Strategy Officer, Hayleys Advantis Ltd. Nisala Kodippili – Chief Information Officer, Union Bank of Colombo PLC moderated the track.

Welcome address was given by Saman Samarakoon, Chairman of Bank’s CIO Forum/DGM – Technology and Operations, Sanasa Development Bank PLC. And he said: “Banks could play a key influential role to strengthen the stagnated economy growth in Sri Lanka. Amidst many financial inclusion initiatives discussed at length today, including banking the unbanked and the under-banked and increasing financial access to Micro, Small and Medium Entities (MSMEs), we realise, Sri Lanka could gain tremendous progress with technology-led solutions to facilitate services to each of these segments in our society.”

As digitalization becomes more widespread, opportunity will emerge for financial services and fintechs to build an exceptional level of convergence between technology and finance. Opportunities will also emerge for other industries such as retail to work with financial services companies resulting in the convergence of industries.

Addressing the gathering ,Arjuna Herath, Partner Advisory EY Sri Lanka and Maldives, stated: “The pace of digitalization in the Banking and Financial Services Industry (BFSI) is accelerating exponentially whilst playing a pivotal role in the service sector. Banking has way surpassed the branch and mobile devices and in future may even be obsolete. With advanced data analytics allowing the creation of personalized offerings/services, banks must make vast investments in talent and tech to keep apt with meeting the modern-day customer demands and requirements.”

Event registration was by invitation only and more than 120 participated representing various industries .