Banks, fintech partnership key to drive financial inclusion, says expert

As financial technology (FinTech) gradually seeps into the growth strategies of traditional banks, expert have expressed concern that the two components would need to work together in order to drive financial inclusion in the sector.

The basis for this concern is stemmed from the global best practices where Fintech, the term coined for financial services technology, has become an extremely fast-growing industry worldwide. Its growth has enabled banks in Europe and the US to innovate and develop products to suit customers’ lifestyles.

According to Sola Fanawopo, MD/CEO of eMaginations, and organizer of Ennovators Breakfast Series (EBS), Nigeria is not an exception in the FinTech upsurge.

He said the global investment in FinTech is reported to have reached as high as $80 billion between 2010 and 2016. “For some time after the global and local financial crisis, traditional banks have laid emphasis on regaining customers’ trust. I am happy that banks have realised the potential of FinTech and are now slowly joining the startups in the race. That is why it is heartening to know that a Nigerian call itself FinTech bank”.

He explained that in large part, FinTech firms are becoming “disruptors” for good, and that the secret to maintaining the banking industry is to nurture the startups through which new technology is birthed. To grow the banking industry, he asked, “Should banks engage FinTechs for competitive advantage, should banks build, partners or acquire FinTechs?”

According to him, bank chiefs and FinTech founders such as Muhammad Jibrin, MD/CEO, of SunTrust Bank, Yele Okeremi, MD/CEO of Precise Financial Systems, John Obaro, MD/CEO of Systemspecs and Uzoma Dozie, Group MD/CEO, Diamond Bank, would join other speakers at the Oriental Hotel, venue of EBS in March to examine how banks and FinTech should relate.

“This edition of EBS will examine if the banks and FinTechs are friends or foes”, he said.

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FintechSola Fanawopo
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