By Martin Ekpeke

Financial Technology companies and other financial institutions in Nigeria and across Africa have been urged by tech experts and enthusiasts to leverage digital offerings and data, stressing that these have the ability to move their business to the next levels.

The experts, who gathered at this year’s KPMG Digital Summit in Lagos, noted that data is presently the cake and not the icing, as 10 percent of the biggest global brands in 2010 were digital companies. This has increased to 70 percent in 2017.

Speaking on the topic, ‘The Future of Financial Services – Leading Through Digital’ Boye Ademola, Partner & Lead, Digital Transformation at KPMG Nigeria, posited that the digital industry has continued to experience exponential growth, as a result of the value it offers to businesses.

“It is advisable for financial institutions to leverage digital offering. The industry in the last twenty years has not shrunk and it doesn’t appear it will ever do. Today, 70 percent of global brands are digital companies,” he said at the summit, which attracted huge participation from FinTechs, financial service institutions, government, private equity and venture capital firms.

He listed the impact of digital platforms to include wrapping up customers, bringing innovations, helping pricing and the continued creation of values in the overall market value chain.

Meanwhile, Fintechs have been advised on other service needs within the Fintech ecosystem, as focusing only on payment services will at the end shows lack of innovations.

Adebisi Shonubi, Managing Director, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, who gave the advise in a panel session tagged ‘The Role of Government and Regulators in the Evolution of FinTech’, said as far as the government needs to define what they stand for when it comes to Fintech evolution, those who are playing in the scene would have to reinvent their business model to lead in the ever financial world.

“There are other service need in fintech as banking moves from physical to digital. To transform banks’ relationships with their customers in the digital age, Fintechs would have to deliver a highly engaging customer experience,” he urged.

Shonubi  added Africa is the last frontier for the digital economy. This he said need a sense of urgency , urging Fintechs across Africa to innovate and come up with new business models in the absence of good payment infrastructure, which the continent is lacking. To achieve this, he suggests cooperation between players in the industry. “If we don’t cooperate, we’ll keep using foreign platforms. If we do cooperate, we’ll be joint beneficiaries,” he noted.

The financial services industry has continued to show remarkable developments with entry of new innovative technology solutions, emergence of new digital business models, increasing adoption of FinTech services, growing local and international investments in technology innovation amongst other developments.

But Africa appears not to have positioned itself in the financial services technology innovation ecosystem. This is largely the essence of the KMPG Digital Summit to facilitate discussions that will drive the sustainable growth and development of digital innovation to ensure delivery of value to consumers, businesses and financial services industry at Large.


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