Wincor Nixdorf, one of the world's leading providers of IT solutions and services for banks and retail businesses, is opening a new representative office in Lagos, the largest city in the western African country of Nigeria.
The company is extending its involvement in Nigeria as part of the expansion of its business in the world's growth markets. Eckard Heidloff, President and CEO of Wincor Nixdorf AG, explained the company's future presence in Nigeria on the occasion of the opening of the representative office in Lagos on July 11, 2013: "Nigeria is one of the most strongly growing economies in the world. Here we're the market leader in our business, and need to be directly available to our customers in order to support and advise them."
"This step is the expression of our commitment to the important growth market of Nigeria, and at the same time the continuation of our global expansion strategy," Heidloff added. He noted that the popularity of automated teller machines (ATMs) will increase in Nigeria, just as in other emerging economies, and stressed another important aspect of this trend. "In ATMs we see an opportunity to provide access to banking services for people who currently have no bank accounts of their own." In expanding its Nigerian business, Wincor Nixdorf is relying on the proven concept of working with local partners - in this case Computer Warehouse Group PLC, SoftWorks Limited and Cyberspace Network Limited.
Customer proximity is critical for Wincor Nixdorf in serving international markets. The new office is intended to support the company in implementing the country-specific requirements of its partners and customers more rapidly and precisely in the form of tailored technology solutions. In addition, a local presence will improve customer service even more in order to support the business expansion with solutions from Wincor Nixdorf. Measured in the number of delivered ATM units, Wincor Nixdorf is already the clear market leader in Nigeria and No. 2 in Africa as a whole. Among its customers are nine of the ten largest Nigerian banks. And the potential is immense: according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country's dynamically growing financial institutions plan new installations of up to 70,000 ATMs over the next ten years. In contrast, the country's installed base in 2011 amounted to only approximately 9,600 systems according to a study completed by the British market research company Retail Banking Research (RBR), which estimates a current total of 11,000 systems on the basis of statements by CBN. Moreover, many Nigerian banks maintain their own branches in neighboring countries, offering opportunities for further growth.
Against this backdrop, Wincor Nixdorf is very optimistic about its prospects for business in this important market. In addition to Nigeria's economic growth, an increase in prosperity is the primary reason for the growing demand for ATMs. Currently there are only 57 ATMs per million inhabitants to cover the country's constantly growing need for basic banking services. For purposes of comparison, in Brazil there are 780 ATMs per million and in Russia 808. In order to help banks meet the increasing demands of Nigeria's consumers, Wincor Nixdorf also intends to offer support in enhancing ATMs through new service offers or future-oriented technologies. Examples include the use of an automated teller machine to top up payment cards or to pay bills - such as those from utility, telecommunications or insurance companies - via cash deposit.
But Wincor Nixdorf also believes that ATMs can contribute by enabling access to banking services for people in Nigeria who have no bank accounts of their own. Nearly half the inhabitants of the country, the most heavily populated in Africa, still have no access to financial services - but many do have mobile telephones, which can be used to make cash deposits at ATMs or withdraw cash that has been made available electronically. This is possible through a software application, developed in part by Wincor Nixdorf, that enables an online connection between mobile telephones and ATMs - and thus makes it possible to authorize deposits and withdrawals at ATMs and transfer funds securely. Many banks are also beginning to use biometric recognition methods - such as customer fingerprints - for customer authentication at ATMs. And as the undisputed innovation leader in future-oriented IT solutions for banks and retail businesses, Wincor Nixdorf offers the best prerequisites for the implementation of extended functionalities. At the same time, the company fulfills the quality demands of solutions that are "Made in Germany".
In summary, Wincor Nixdorf's CEO Heidloff expressed confidence at the opening of the new office: "I'm convinced that our IT solutions can optimally support business processes at Nigerian banks and retail businesses and thus contribute to their growth and competitiveness."