Elevating CFO Roles: Dr. Christian Ayiku Discusses Strategic Adaptations in a Digital World 

The financial landscape is evolving rapidly, and the role of the CFO is no exception. In a recent episode of the CFO Club Podcast, Nicolaas van Wyk, CEO of CIBA, engaged in an enlightening discussion with Dr. Christian Ayiku, CEO of DafriBank Digital Limited. As a featured speaker at the upcoming CFO Africa Conference, Dr. Ayiku shared his perspectives on the strategic adaptations CFOs must embrace in our increasingly digital world.

Here are the most valuable and practical insights from their discussion:

Embrace Diverse Backgrounds for CFO Roles 

Traditionally, CFOs have come from strong accounting backgrounds. However, Dr. Ayiku emphasized that modern CFOs often come from a variety of professional backgrounds, including engineering, marketing, and science. This diversity is incredibly beneficial, as it brings a range of skills and perspectives that enhance strategic decision-making. A CFO with a marketing background, for example, can offer valuable insights into customer behavior and market trends, complementing the traditional financial oversight role. 

Key Takeaway: Companies should consider candidates from diverse professional backgrounds for CFO roles to bring a holistic approach to financial leadership, encompassing not just accounting, but also operations, IT, HR, and strategic development. 

Understand and Adapt to Customer Payment Preferences

One of the critical roles of a modern CFO is to ensure that the company’s financial systems are aligned with customer preferences. Dr. Ayiku pointed out that understanding and adapting to these preferences is essential for staying competitive. For instance, retail businesses need to benchmark their payment solutions against industry standards and customer expectations to ensure seamless and efficient transactions. 

Key Takeaway: CFOs must prioritize understanding their customers’ payment preferences and adapt their systems accordingly. This can enhance customer satisfaction and capture a larger market share by providing convenient, cost-effective, and timely payment solutions. 

Leverage Digital Payments for Efficiency

The shift towards digital payments is not just a trend; it’s a strategic necessity. Dr. Ayiku highlighted that digital payments offer significant advantages, including reduced errors, increased speed, and improved transaction security. Adopting these technologies can streamline operations, enhance accuracy, and improve overall efficiency, making the finance function more agile and responsive. 

Key Takeaway: Embracing digital payment technologies can lead to substantial efficiency gains. CFOs should prioritize the adoption of these systems to reduce manual errors, speed up transaction times, and ensure secure financial operations. 

Stay Flexible and Responsive to Technological Advancements

In a digital world, the only constant is change. Dr. Ayiku emphasized the importance of flexibility and responsiveness to new technological advancements. CFOs need to stay abreast of emerging technologies and be willing to integrate new digital payment methods and other innovations into their operations to maintain a competitive edge. 

Key Takeaway: Continuous learning and adaptation are crucial for modern CFOs. They should foster a culture of agility within their teams and be open to adopting new technologies that can improve efficiency and customer satisfaction. 

Strategic Planning for Digital Currency Integration

As digital currencies and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) gain traction, Dr. Ayiku discussed the strategic importance of integrating these into business models. This includes understanding the regulatory environment, assessing potential risks, and leveraging the benefits of digital currencies, such as enhanced financial inclusion and transaction efficiency. 

Key Takeaway: CFOs should develop strategic plans for the integration of digital currencies into their financial systems. This involves staying informed about regulatory changes, understanding the implications of digital currency adoption, and ensuring robust cybersecurity measures are in place. 


The role of the CFO is expanding beyond traditional boundaries, driven by the rapid pace of technological advancements. As Dr. Christian Ayiku discussed, modern CFOs must embrace diverse backgrounds, understand customer preferences, leverage digital payments, stay flexible to new technologies, and strategically plan for digital currency integration. By doing so, they can elevate their roles and drive their organizations toward greater efficiency and innovation in a digital world. 

Stay tuned for more insights and discussions from leading financial experts on the CFO Club Podcast. If you’re interested in learning more, don’t miss the upcoming CFO Africa Conference, where industry leaders like Dr. Ayiku will share their knowledge and experiences. 

 Watch the full interview below:


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