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Reuters addresses e-finance at ITP Banking and Technology Road Show

Ian Evans, sales manager for Reuters Middle East, addressed core issues regarding e-finance in the region at the ITP Banking and Finance Technology Road Show in Dubai today.

Ian Evans, sales manager for Reuters Middle East, addressed core issues regarding e-finance in the region at the ITP Banking and Finance Technology Road Show in Dubai today.

Evans drew on the dot.com rush experiences and the different initiatives adopted by businesses to engage the Internet. Many businesses have adopted electronic strategies without clearly defining their market, customers, and the needs of clients. Commenting on dot.coms, Evans said, “It all started wrong because business models and ethos were wrong, the attitude was you buy, we buy. People come to us and say we want to get into e-finance.”

However, brand loyalty in the Middle East is one of the strongest in the world when it comes to banking, according to Evans. “Banks in the Gulf region are well positioned. They are growing at a fast pace, are ambitious, dynamic, multicultural, have a long trading history and a pioneering spirit. There is no need to fear international competition.” However, the essential element in e-banking, is understanding why e-finance is there. In the West, the primary reason has been to save labour, while in the Middle East, the same will not hold true.

Businesses need to define where they want to go, what they want to achieve. So what are the requirements? According to Evans, the region’s banks and financial entities need to address technology in a manner that will integrate all the competencies of a business; people, partnerships and the processes, as quality will be the differentiator. By doing so, businesses will perform better; revenues will increase, costs will decrease and the standard of services offered will improve.

While a need for a single payment gateway in the region, would certainly enhance the commoditisation of services in the industry, IT flexibility is also pertinent in terms of empowering employees, according to Evans. Companies need to have visionaries in order to keep an eye on what takes place outside. “Organisations require visionaries to be the ears of the company. People were given two ears and a mouth that means, effectively, we listen twice as much as we speak. Visionaries can aid a company this way,” said Evans.