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IT professionals’ innovation on fintech crucial to drive digital financial services- Ajao

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The Executive Director, Business Development, NIBSS Plc., ‘Niyi Ajao, has called on the member of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) to improve on innovations that will assist Nigeria deepen its financial technology (FinTech) and be strategically positioned to bridge financial inclusion divides.

Ajao said this while presenting a keynote address on ‘Information Technology: A Tool for Sustainable Development’, at the 8th Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) Lagos IT conference & 2017 golden names award.

Dignitaries at the conference

He recalls that the rise of FinTech, (World FinTech report 2017), has been aided by a perfect storm, created by increasing customer expectations, expanding VC funding, reduced barriers to entry, and increasing pace of technological evolution.

He however noted that mobile is the access point of the future, saying that 61% of NIP transfers were done through the mobile phone channels such as mobile app, USSD etc., adding that rapid advances in technological innovation are part of the forces shaping the future.

According to him, with over 189.4 million population with 49% urbanisation; 97.2 million internet users at 51% penetration and close to 160 million mobile subscription, Nigeria has opportunity to broaden its financial services.

“Automation, robotics and AI (artificial intelligence) are advancing quickly, dramatically changing the nature and number of jobs available. Technology has the power to improve our lives, raising productivity, living standards and average life span, and free people to focus on personal fulfilment. But it also brings the threat of social unrest and political upheaval if economic advantages are not shared equitably”, Ajao added.

He encouraged the IT professionals to assist the financial sector key into Mckingey&Company report which listed three required building blocks to drive digital financial services. “First, widespread digital infrastructure which shows that widespread connectivity is needed, robust digital payments infrastructure and well-disseminated personal identification system.

Participants at the conference

 

“Secondly, dynamic financial services market: to know the risk-proportionate regulation promoting stable financial system and open markets fostering innovation

“Thirdly, products people prefer to existing alternatives: new digital products offering true advantage in cost and utility for people to use them.

He said that banking products of the future should be able to address issues around the unbanked and the underbanked.

Also in a presentation: ‘The Next Dinosaur: Disruption and Response-ability’, Adeolu Okanlawon, said that Disruption in vocation including teachers, engineer, typist, etc., are driven by human’s quest to do more, learn more, and improve own experience.

“It will continue as long as we are humans and our needs are insatiable. That’s what makes us humans. It is a never-ending system of change that drives all the changes we have seen – called innovation. And it will never stop.

“Now it is being sewn into the fabric of Business, Living and Society that’s why we hear innovation, innovation, innovation everywhere. And both innovation and disruption are enabled by the twin factor of technology and globalization.

“Dying slowly is in the experience of Dinaosaur based on what we know …. So also are our “IT skills”’, Okanlawon added.