Ecobank Advocates Increased Fintechs, Banks’ Collaboration

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The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has said more collaboration is needed between fintechs, banks, and telecommunications companies to spur markets in health, agriculture, education, transportation, fashion and creative industry, commodities, and capital markets.

Akinwuntan, who stated this in his keynote address at the Nigeria Fintech Week, recently, maintained that for Nigerian fintechs to accelerate positive disruption for value, there was strong need to develop talents, solve problem beyond payments, monetise data and challenge the status quo.

Specifically, he made a case for the establishment digital school of fintech to groom talents, deepen skills for businesses and grow knowledge of the financial services industry.

He added that the industry is sitting on a trove of data as big data can be leveraged to create values for customers including adopting superior user experience and interface for affordable payment and improved credit access.

According to him, “we must take the lead to introduce a continent-wide Bank Verification Number (BVN) and Global Standing Instruction (GSI) for Africa under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) Agreement, champion blockchain for cross-border payments in agriculture, education, and the government, that is leveraging technology for better productivity.” Further, the Ecobank Managing Director stated that with a pan-African reach and a customer base of over 25 million, Ecobank enables and partners with fintech platforms across the continent.

He noted that Ecobank’s flagship pan-African switch connects countries where it operates across Africa.
This centralised switch allows easy integration, enabling instant transfers between 33 African countries, while offering real-time settlement across Africa in 18 local currencies.

In his opening remark President of the Nigeria Fintech Association, Dr. Olusegun Aina, stated that with the economic vulnerability following the COVID-19, fintechs are undoubtedly the solution to the current disruptions.

According to Aina, businesses and stakeholders in general must appreciation changes in the customers’ behavior, which is the main thing that determines a company’s success.

He reiterated that regulation and funding is the main challenge hindering fintechs from occupying their space fully, as they are fully adapted to the need of customers in the present generation.

The Nigeria Fintech Week with the theme “Evolving Economic Disruptions; Fintech as a Solution,” had participants from all over the world.