• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Experts advocate banks, fintechs collaboration to drive innovations

Experts advocate  banks, fintechs collaboration to drive innovations

Industry leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs gathered in Lagos recently to explore the evolving landscape of financial technology (fintech). At the forum fintech experts including Uzoma Dozie, founder of Sparkle and former CEO of Diamond Bank advocated for collaboration between traditional banks and fintechs to drive the needed innovation and create value for Nigerians.

At the forum organised by Oradian, the foremost provider of core banking software for emerging markets, Dozie said the technology will play a big role in defining Nigeria’s market and therefore called for the involvement of all players including banks, regulators and government to make this happen.

According to him, the future is digital and digital will be powered by fintech. He described fintech as using technology to provide certain services. He believed that digital is a mindset and “ if we don’t have that mindset, we will not leverage fintech for the benefit of Nigeria”.

Drawing from his experience in banking and how former Diamond Bank became the leading retail bank, Dozie said ‘’Diamond Bank’s retail success was based on our ability to work with fintechs to build our mobile banking capability to dive deeper in providing banking services to people at the lower end of the market and provide price point they can afford and at price point we can also generate income. If we had used the existing banking applications we would have run into loss”.

According to him, the biggest advantage of technology is that “it allows businesses to scale, and the more customers you engage on your platform, the lower the cost of serving them. The ability to understand the problem and use the appropriate technology to achieve that is important”.

He said “Banking requires a lot of trust for it to grow. We are in an era where we are trying to move people from cash and traditional banking ways to digital ways and this requires a lot of hand-holding and trust in the system by the players in the market including regulators, legislators and the government, it is a whole stakeholder approach”.

“Fintechs are very important and integral if banking will evolve and provide what it needs for the economy. We need fintech to make banking better, we need fintech to drive banking down the bottom of the pyramid so that financial inclusion agenda can be achieved which is very important”.

He said there are a few things the government needs to do before we talk of financial inclusion which is identity. ‘’You can’t start talking of financial inclusion if people cannot put food in their mouths. The government’s role is to Integrate people into health and education programmes and this gives people reason to want to be identified’’.

In his views, Antonio Separovic, Co-founder and CEO of Oradian who looked at the fintech eco-system said there is still work to be done to grow the sector. He said that the government has to step up and should not leave it to the private sector alone. “There are things already being done in the private sector, we can see private investors and contributions by local investors and foreign investors”.

“In spite of challenges, the fintech eco-system is growing as there are more financial services in a way we did not see 10 years ago. We have 24-hour banking and customers are not limited to their branches. Absolutely there is a shift, but it does not mean we will stop at this which will still need much work to be done”.

On the mitigation of fraud in the financial sector, he said “it is difficult to get fraud to zero point but said if something is suspicious in providing services, pulse and ask questions.” It can be mitigated by having better processes and checks and balances and sharing information with other players. Different fintechs and banks sharing information to suffocate fraud from growing is a better way to deal with it and it is about being more diligent and knowing your KYC”, he said.

The panel discussion, comprised of Uzoma Dozie; Babatunde Akin Moses, CEO of Sycamore.ng; Henry Obiekea, MD of Fairmoney; and Antonio Separovic who explored the theme: Frontier Horizons – Diversifying Revenue, Mitigating Risks, and Expanding Internationally.

The discussion aimed to empower attendees with the knowledge and insights necessary to navigate disruptive times effectively. Key points covered include the current state of the fintech ecosystem in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa, regulatory frameworks, fostering innovation while ensuring stability, risk mitigation strategies including cybersecurity and compliance, revenue diversification for resilience, identifying expansion opportunities outside Nigeria, market entry approaches, technological innovation leveraging blockchain and AI, building trust and adoption of fintech solutions, tailoring solutions for local needs, and sustaining growth within Nigeria by focusing on underserved segments and product innovation.

The event also fostered networking and knowledge sharing among attendees, creating an atmosphere of collaboration and empowerment.