Lack of collaboration hindering fintech growth in Nigeria – Experts

Experts in the Nigerian fintech industry have identified a lack of deep collaborations as one of the major challenges hindering the growth of the industry and negatively affecting the country’s financial inclusion drive.

The Experts spoke at the 2023 edition of the Nigeria Fintech Forum held in Lagos on Thursday. According to them, several fintech companies are coming up with different solutions in silos at the expense of having integrated solutions that address the financial inclusion challenges of the country.

Specifically, the CEO of Clane, a fintech company, Mr. Oladipo Alabede, said the lack of integration of several solutions in the country is the reason it is still impossible today for bus conductors to be able to accept cashless payments. According to him, this made the recent cash crunch more challenging for many Nigerians as market women, public transporters could only accept cash as a means of payment.

More innovations, more gaps

While noting that the several innovative solutions in the country are yet to address many challenges in the payment system, Alabede said:

  • “A lot of innovations are happening in the market, a lot of people are creating new things, new ideas, solving new problems in different ways. Right. The fact is one person cannot solve the problem. There is a need for collaboration. There is a need for integration of all these solutions,” he said.

Presenting a keynote at the event, an Associate Dean at the Lagos Business School, Prof. Olayinka David-West has challenged fintech companies in Nigeria to collaborate to bridge the financial inclusion gap in the country. She said they also need to be on the availability and accessibility of services that resolve financial inclusion problems.

  • “Beyond availability and accessibility, the quality of services being offered by the operators is very crucial. They should continue to roll out financial services that meet the needs of Nigerians,” she said.

David-West also stressed the need to include more women in the financial inclusion initiative, as many women are still very much excluded.

Another challenge raised by David-West includes the gap between the urban and rural area, the Northern part of Nigeria and the Southern dichotomy.

According to her, this gap must be bridged for Nigeria to achieve true digital inclusion.

Digital transactions growing

Meanwhile, despite the financial inch Aveion gaps, digital transactions in the country have been growing. According to Managing Director, Payment Processing & Switching (Interswitch Purepay), Akeem Lawal, Digital transactions recorded over 86% growth in half year of 2023 in Nigeria.

Presenting a keynote at the fintech forum, Lawal said:

  • “Last year, we gathered to discuss Partnership for Growth as a topical issue within our industry. Between last year and now, a lot of growth has been recorded. Today, we will be having interesting conversations which will shape a lot of what’s happening in the fintech ecosystem.
  • “Also, between then and now we have seen so many industry-defining developments in finance and data technology. We’ve also seen a significant rise in the industry’s performance, especially in the area of instant payments. In six months, the industry recorded over 86% growth; and our forecast is quite promising.
  • “We are transforming businesses of merchants. We are also transforming the lives of individuals who are experts in that field to be working themselves.”

Other speakers at the event include Akeem Salam, Head of Products & Innovation, 9PSB, Ambrose Ebuka, Forex Expert, OctaFX Ambassador, Wasiu Popoola, Chief Digital Officer, Lotus Bank, Isaac Akanni, Customer Growth Manager, Infobip, among others.

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