FinTech in Nigeria has come a long way since Paystack got admitted into Y Combinator in 2015. Since then, FinTech has grown in leaps and bounds not only in Nigeria but all over Africa.
Aside from producing five of Africa’s current Unicorns (Interswitch, Jumia, Flutterwave, Opay and Andela), FinTech has remained the most attractive sector for investors in Africa from 2015 to 2022. From January to July, according to BD Funding Tracker, FinTech has attracted 23% of the total investment in 2023.
The Nigerian FinTech Forum annually provides a veritable platform for discussions and deal-making between leading financial technology stakeholders. The event now in its second edition, held its 2023 program yesterday, August 3, at the Civic Center, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The forum is annually organised by Eventhive.ng, a West African trade and B2B event servicing company with event portfolios across energy, techy, real estate and transport in Nigeria, Rwanda, the UK and the US.
The event played host to the leading founders, operators working across various FinTech verticals and united industry stakeholders who are defining the future of the ecosystem in finance, payments and banking.
The Nigerian FinTech Forum addresses critical developments in the African FinTech ecosystem while uncovering the countless opportunities within the Nigerian and African FinTech markets.
This year, the forum discussed issues relating to fraud and fincrime, embedded finance, cross-border payments, Web 3.0 and digital currencies, payments innovation, banks, FinTech, telcos, regulation, money and digital transformation, forex, future of CX and lending.
Some of the notable speakers at the event include Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO at Interswitch Group; Jude Dike, CEO at GetEquity; Joshua Chibueze, Co-Founder at Piggyvest; Omoniyi Kolade, CEO at Seerbit; Yvonne Obike, Co-Founder/COO at Payday; Aaron Fu, FinTech Ventures at Digital Currency Group and Adebowale Banjo, Co-Founder/CEO at MyCover.ai.
During the first panel session, the theme “Nigerian FinTech so far: Assessing trends, opportunities and obstacles” was considered. Kayode Odetola, CEO at aYo Nigeria, said that Nigeria's FinTech ecosystem should embrace co-opting instead of competing since there’s so much to do to achieve the goal of financial inclusion.
Speaking on promising FinTech sectors to watch out for, Akeem Salami, Head of Business Development & Strategy & Head of Products & Innovation at 9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB) said that payment remains the most promising sector in FinTech since it is a primary trade enabler.
He also said that insurtech has the tendency to keep growing because it’s a viable add-on to FinTech. Oluseye Olukoga, the CEO of Parthian Partners Limited, re-echoed Salami’s thoughts and said that embedded finance is another sector to watch out for.
During the second panel session, the topic, “Redefining the fight against fraud & financial crime in the Nigerian FinTech ecosystem was considered.”
While defining fraud, Tolulope Omoleye, Head of Legal & Compliance, at Branch International said that fraud is trying to get an economic advantage over an asset that belongs to someone else.
To be able to fight it, she said, “Startups should be proactive and deliberate about security. They should also put in place systems that monitor signups and transactions on their platform to ensure that people are who they claim to be.”
Wasiu Popoola, Chief Digital Officer, Lotus Bank, stated that startups should take Cybersecurity seriously. “Every FinTech startup should have security built around systems to ensure fraudsters don’t have access. An agile Cybersecurity is the set of processes, protocols and systems built around digital products," Wasiu said.
Tvoyila Oga, Group Head, Financial Services Business Systegra-Digital Infrastructure and Managed Services, Interswitch Group expounded fraud from the angle of a fraud triad or triangle.
Joshua Chibueze, co-founder and CMO, PiggyVest said that startups should find ways to protect their unsuspecting clients from online fraudsters. He said that “some fraudsters go to the comments section of some startups’ social media platforms, disguising as customer service. When customers make a complaint, the fraudsters reply with a link and ask the customers to click it and provide sensitive information like their login details and BVN.”
Chibueze advised startups to double down efforts on educating their customers not to share sensitive information with strangers.
At the third panel session with the theme; “Venture Investment trends & Nigeria’s FinTech ecosystem”, Emeka Ishiekwene, Investment Associate, Ventures Platform said that it’s a tough time to do business. Therefore, founders shouldn’t sacrifice profitability for growth. “The startups that will survive this downturn are financially agile,” he said.
Victor Kareem, an Executive Director at Lagos Angel Network, while speaking on the future of FinTech said entrepreneurs will keep finding innovative ways to use technology to enable trade and payments. Since payment is an essential enabler of trade, technology will be used to make it easier and faster.
The 2023 edition of Nigerian Fintech Forum was made possible by partners such as Interswitch, Maplerad, 9 Payment Service Bank, Mycover.ai, Qwid, Seerbit, aYo, Infobip, Africa Talking Drum, i-Invest, Unicaf, Benjamindada.com, Technext, Techcabal, Inclusion Times, Big Tech This Week, and RegTech Africa.