One of Nigeria’s biggest banks, FirstBank, has announced plans to launch a new tech hub in Lagos. Named FirstBank Digital Lab, the new tech hub will serve as a platform for the bank to collaborate and advance with the financial technology ecosystem.
Want to win an invite to our digital lab launch on Thursday? Find the errors in this code and get a chance to be part of the next big thing. Deadline: Wednesday, 2pm #FirstBankisDigital #FirstBankDigitalLab #OneLab #YouFirst pic.twitter.com/iEfrVLjBrU
— FirstBank Nigeria (@FirstBankngr) July 3, 2018
Located in the vibrant Yaba tech environment, FirstBank Digital Lab is set to launch tomorrow, Thursday, July 5, 2018. The lab will “pioneer a new wave of better, faster and more efficient banking products.”
Why FirstBank Digital Lab?
Technological advancement is a key aspect to the growth of any business, especially in this 21st century. For banks particularly, technology could do a whole lot to help reduce costs while still providing flawless services to customers. However, innovation is hard for large businesses and even harder in traditional businesses like banking.
— Xplorenolly (@xplorenollywood) July 4, 2018
Meanwhile, startups, with their lean and flexible nature are more suited to innovation. Over the last decade, startups have helped to pioneer new ideas quickly and efficiently. This has created new industries and disrupted existing ones.
Bank-Supported Tech Hubs Springing Up
In Nigeria too, financial technology (FinTech) innovation is quite powerful. Fintech companies like Flutterwave and Paystack are developing next level technologies that are gradually making bank halls look redundant.
Understandably, most banks are typically wary of such FinTechs. And recently, there’s been a growing call for the CBN to regulate the works of FinTechs in order to save traditional banking institutions. However, banks are becoming increasingly supportive of startup innovations. A few months ago, Stanbic IBTC, another large bank, launched the Blue Lab tech hub in Lagos. The aim is to support startups and individuals with ideas beneficial to the banking industry.
With the launch of the FirstBank Digital Lab, the bank is set to take advantage of new ideas before they become mainstream. According to the bank, Digital Lab helps stimulate innovative solutions to real-life challenges and brings “together technologies and methods to transform ideas into feasible solutions.”
This is an amazing feat and it will be interesting to see what sort of innovation comes out of the hub.
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