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UK lauds Africa’s achievements in Fintech

Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Laure Beaufils, has commended Africa’s increasingly impressive achievements in Fintech.

She expressed this recently while delivering a keynote speech at the third annual Africa Fintech Festival held at the Landmark Event Centre, Lagos.

Beaufils added that United Kingdom’s plan to be one of the G7 top investors in Africa by the year 2022 would be achieved through investments in the continent’s Fintech industry.

The UK/Africa Fintech partnership was launched by the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, during her visit to Africa earlier this year with the aim of achieving the following: seed funding for Fintech companies within and across Africa; the UK’s financial sector authorities to work with African regulators to jointly create the right environment for indigenous and international corporations; and improving research knowledge across the continent.

Some of the structures the UK put in place include the Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), a financial sector development organisation that promotes financial inclusion in Nigeria. The UK is also a benefactor of the EFInA Fintech fund.

At the festival, the chairman, EFInA Board, Segun Akerele said: “In operating the Innovation Fund, EFInA has provided up to 32 grants to commercial banks, micro-finance banks, mobile money operators, and investment management companies that provide financial products and services to the low income population in Nigeria.”

The word FinTech is a combination of the words “financial technology”. While the term has been around for several years, it seems that 2015 is really the year that this fledgling offshoot of the larger banking industry has finally come into its own.
FinTech, or Financial Technology, refers to new technology or innovation that disrupts traditional ways of conducting financial transactions. This includes digitizing processes that were previously handled with paper money and human interaction.

The rise of the smartphone has massively changed the behavior of consumers. Whether it’s checking to pay for goods online or making bank transfer via a mobile app, Nigerians are now getting used to handling financial affairs as easily and conveniently as they do their email or Facebook page.

This is considered a good opportunity for news startup businesses and its the major reason for the disruption we are witnessing today.

FinTech is the major cause of all the recent disruptions we are experiencing in the Nigeria banking sector today (With the likes of ALAT by Wema Bank & GTBanks 737). Now you can access top-notch financial services without stepping into a bank.

Fintech uses technology in a better way to make people feel convenient living in the modern age. FinTech helps people who are ‘unbanked’ but a desire to buy or sell online have access to quick and affordable banking operations just by using a mobile phone.

The Nigerian payments landscape has significantly evolved over the past decade. The cost of integrating online payments to a website 5 years ago was over 150k now thanks to FinTech, the cost of accepting online payments is Zero.

With the rapid adaptation of card payments in Nigeria, platforms like Flutterwave and Paystack are playing the lead role in making it easy for businesses to start accepting online payments with the click of a button.

FinTech has fuelled the growth of alternative lenders which offer both higher yields to investors and faster, cheaper, more convenient loans for borrowers compared to traditional banks.

Private lenders like PayLater, QuickCheck, and Lidya are continuing to plow hundreds of millions of naira into alternative-lending space in Nigeria making it easy for anyone to access quick loans (business or personal) when needed.

Source: The Guardian

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