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AfricaMoney | August 23, 2017

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Mauritius’ banking sector to become virtual and branchless by 2030

Mauritius’ banking sector to become virtual and branchless by 2030

Mauritius’ banking sector will be driven by the ICT due to the use of smart phone as a tool, which will be accessible to the Mauritian population because the cost of smart phones seems to decrease over the years, according to Rundheersing Bheenick, Governor of Bank of Mauritius, at a Breakfast Forum held yesterday. (Image: Cecilia Samoisi)

Mauritius was witness to a Breakfast Forum on the challenge and the evolution of banks for members of the banking sector, under the theme ‘Vision 2030: Banking your future.’

The Breakfast Forum was organised by the Mauritius Institute of Directors (MIoD) on September 4, 2014 at the Hennessy Park Hotel in Ebène.

The aim of this forum was to discuss the future of banking in Mauritius, the future of Mauritius as a financial sector, how the island will become a high-income country, and the role of the banking sector in Mauritius.

Guest speaker, Rundheersing Bheenick, Governor of Bank of Mauritius, visualized 2030 for a couple of customers of the bank of the future.

“The future of banking probably is more towards a branchless banking, is more towards virtual banking. So, customers of tomorrow can transfer money from a smartphone. The customers of tomorrow may not be even a Mauritian citizen, lots of things are happening in Africa, we want to position ourselves as a gateway to Africa,” Rundheersing Bheenick noted.

He added that the Africa we know is changing with connectivity, diseases like Ebola and so on but perhaps the United States of Africa may become a reality and maybe the central banking of Africa could also become a reality with a common central bank and a common currency.

“I believe that the banking sector of tomorrow will not be banking as we know it today, not just because banks will be less physical but because the whole concept of banking is going to change. However, the basis of banking will not change,” he stated.

Some of the 2030 visions for the banking sector enumerated by the Governor are: to have a cash-lite society; mobile payment; contactless banking; branchless; peer-to-peer lending; and electronic commerce.

ICT is the key driver to achieve these visions, with smartphone as a tool because Governor Bheenick believes in technology due to the cost of smartphones, which will decrease over the years.

He went on by saying that credit cards are the most important innovation in the banking sector and competition among banks enable credit cards to evolve.

Governor Bheenick stated that Mauritius will become a high-income country if we are prepared to changes in the financial sector in order to be more efficient.

According to him, Mauritius’ inflation rate must be reduced in order to make it possible for Mauritius to become a high-income country.

The latter ended his speech on the fact that banks must work with their consumers to get a win-win outcome.

During the panel discussion, Alastair Bryce –Chief Executive Officer of the HongKong& Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) in Mauritius – mentioned that international investors look for the presence of international banks.

Finally, André Bonieux, Country Senior Partner at PwC in Mauritius, outlined that banks support development but they bring a lot of risks and they must be careful about where money is going.

- By Marie-Lorry Coret and Cecilia Samoisi

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