Fintech, or, Financial Technology is, all about innovation, disruption and transformation. And will, undoubtedly, impact and shape the way, financial institutions around the world operate. This includes, digitizing processes that, were, previously, handled with paper money and human interaction.
The term, ‘Financial Technology’, can apply to any innovation and how people transact business, from the invention of digital money, to double entry book-keeping. Fintech is, not new. It’s been around in one form or another, virtually, as long as financial services have.
The rise of Fintech, has opened up a world of opportunities, for many small businesses. Businesses can offer more services, than ever and for a fraction of the prices of what it would have cost before.
Many experts believe, forward-thinking entrepreneurs and business owners need to continue to keep, up to date with Fintech developments, as a vital part, of their daily lives.
Femi Adeoti, CEO, Inlaks, a Fintech leader, within the industry, joined me recently, on Tech Trends on Channels Television and he shared his opinion on how Fintechs, can be used, to reach more unbanked in the country and many more.
CFA: How has Nigeria fared, in terms of Fintech inclusion?
Femi: Looking at where we are, currently, according to the organization for enhancing financial literacy, the adult population in Nigeria is about 99.8million and about 63million are connected. They have access, which means we have another 33million, or, more, that are still not connected, so, if you look at that statistics, I don’t think we are doing badly, but we could do better.
CFA: Looking at the number of the unbanked you mentioned, how do you think we can bring them into the financial net, using technology?
Femi: Part of the challenges that have been affecting that sector, has to do, with, first of all, awareness, in terms of literacy. Another one has to do with policy, from the government. How does it enhance financial inclusion?
The other one that, has been affecting us, is the lack of National Identity. We don’t have a National Identity system because, this whole financial inclusion thing, is stronger in a place, like Kenya, where they are approaching about 90% inclusion now. It is because, every Kenyan, has a National Identity. In Nigeria, we have a multiplicity of databases. This bank has, that organization has, rather than a single one that, everybody ties to, so, that’s another challenge.
Another challenge is, the fact that, the cost of technology, to the unbanked people, who are, at the BOP, (Bottom Of the Pyramid), the cost is high for them. For those in the urban areas, it might not look like something that is big, but for those people, the cost is high. These are the factors that, are affecting the adoption. More and more, we are addressing those factors, with technology, we are addressing them with awareness and I’m sure that, they will start to adopt and it would get better. It can only get better.
You can watch the full interview here