Nigeria: Financial Services Sector Embrace Digital Mapping To Drive Business Growth

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VENTURES AFRICA – With over 10,000 Nigerian bank branches, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Point of Sales (PoS) and businesses on Google Maps, search engine giant, Google says Nigerian businesses now see map listing as mandatory strategy.

According to Google Nigeria Country Manager, Juliet Ehimuan, 14 banks in Nigeria took their branches and ATMs locations closer to Nigerians by listing them on Google Maps in the last quarter of 2012 alone.

“As we speak, there are over 10,000 bank branches, ATMs and POS outlet locations listed on Google Maps: Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Ecobank, Enterprise Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, GTBank, Keystone Bank, Mainstreet Bank, Skye Bank, Sterling Bank, UBA, Union Bank and Wema Bank,” she said.

The Google boss noted that compared to twenty years ago when paper maps and printed guides are used to help navigate the world; research shows that advanced digital mapping technologies is creating jobs and driving global economic growth.

“Today, the most advanced digital mapping technologies—satellite imagery, GPS devices, location data and of course Google Maps—are much more accessible. This increase and growth in mapping technology is improving lives and helping businesses in Nigeria realize untold efficiencies.”

Speaking on the usefulness of the digital map, Ehimuan said Google maps, irrespective of location, anyone in or outside Nigeria can find and locate a bank, ATM or POS location in cities within Nigeria.

According to her, a simple search for banks in Nigeria will present a results that would help everyone find a bank easily and because Google Maps can be used on mobile devices, a search can be done while on the move.

The implication of this, she said, is an increased potential for additional business which will be huge via the billions of people around the world using Google Maps.

Apart from the banks, other Nigerian businesses using Google maps to reach their customers easier include Forte Oil, Chicken Republic, Mr. Biggs, Etisalat and a number of others, Ehimuan said.

Ehimuan said to present a clearer picture of the importance of the geo services industry, Google has commissioned studies from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Oxera and its deduction is that maps make a big economic splash around the world.

According to her, the global digital mapping industry was being valued at $270 billion per year and pays out $90 billion in wages.

“While we don’t have exact figures for Nigeria, it employs more than 500,000 people and is worth $73 billion in the US alone,” she said.

“Because maps are such an integral part of how we live and do business, the list of examples goes on and on. That’s why it’s important we all understand the need to invest in the geo services industry so it continues to grow and drive the global economy. Investments can come from the public and private sectors in many forms—product innovation, support of open data policies, more geography education programs in schools and more.”

“We’re proud to see that the contributions being made by our team is helping to drive economic growth In Nigeria, but there’s a long way to go”, Ehimuan said.