By Lubem Gena, Abuja
Arising from the launch of a continental Financial Technology (Fintech) last week, the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) in Nigeria, has endorsed and call on the implementers to ensure that it is private-sector driven.
The Fintech network was launched by the United Nations Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Marrakech-Morocco as efforts to have a coordinated body that will fast track activities in this critical area and boast economic development and integration of the continent.
President of the Chamber, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode in the endorsement which was contained in a press release from the chamber stated that there are abundant of opportunities to be reaped in the initiative hence it encompasses ideas that are driven by technology and social media affiliations.
Prince Kayode who underscored the relevance of the Fintech to the overall development of businesses especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) stated that with the giant efforts made in mobile telephony, data penetration and e-commerce, the efforts in this regards have become necessary.
“The rise of FinTech is a veritable platform that has not been fully appreciated in Nigeria as would have been expected hence new technologies, like machine learning, artificial intelligence, predictive behavioral analytics, and data-driven marketing have not been fully deployed. But I want to emphasise that, the launch of this initiative by the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) will harmonise efforts aimed at deepening the use of technology to drive transactions and add value to the cashless policy that the rest of the world has now fully embraced. This is considered as a good opportunity for new businesses and even existing ones.
“The rise of the smartphone has greatly impacted on the behavior of consumers. From checking to buy, pay for goods online or making bank transfer via mobile apps, the urban population in Nigeria is now getting used to handling transactions with much ease and convenience”, Prince Kayode stated.
He also said the Nigerian economy, which was predominantly cash driven has been responding well to the FinTech opportunity as could be seen from the exponential growth in different mobile money operations platforms.
According to him, the evolution of start-ups is imperative for a successful FinTech ecosystem hence efforts aimed at flourishing has been catalysed by rapidly increasing demand for digital financial products by consumers, exponential rise of connected devices and support of venture capitalists.
He pointed out that while many start-ups are redesigning the financial service processes with their high-end technological expertise, incumbent players should also follow suit by investing energy and innovative ideas towards handling transactions through mobile means.
Prince Kayode further stressed that the trend is increasingly shifting from fintech platforms being seen majorly as disrupters to viewing them as enablers of change.
He explained that ACCI is interested in mobilizing its members and resources to create a platform for stakeholders engagement as well as help the government to formulate appropriate policies to regulate it by collaborating with different players in the ecosystem.