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Africa has more opportunities for fintech growth – Flutterwave Administrator, Efenure

Emmanuel Evenor, Flutterwave’s Head of Risk in Africa, said that despite the pandemic-driven growth that the fintech industry has been experiencing across Africa, there are still more opportunities for growth on the continent.

Efenure advocated the introduction of innovative contactless services as a key way to break the dominance of cash in Africa and drive growth in the sector.

The risk expert was a panellist at the 8th edition of the Nigerian Bankers Clearing System Conference (NBCS) themed Digital Transformation and Innovation in Payment System.

“With more than 200 million people trying to get around every day, a contactless payment app will revolutionize the ecosystem starting with the transportation system first.

“Without a doubt, most people would probably appreciate alternative payments that don’t involve exchanging money or words with the cashier,” he said.

Efenure also talked about Flutterwave’s efforts to support small businesses by helping them receive payments globally through the Flutterwave Store.

NBCS is an annual gathering of banking and financial industry players to examine the changing dynamics of the Central Bank of Nigeria regulation and payment system.

The event, which took place at the Civic Center on November 19, was organized by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as part of its efforts to engage the private sector.

In the keynote address, Samuel Okogiri, Director of Banking Services at CBN, highlighted the efforts of the lead bank to solve payment-related issues, and ensure a fast clearing and settlement system.

Other panelists were CBN Branch Controller, Bariboloka G. Koyor; Chief Conduct and Compliance Officer, Access Bank, Pattison Bulegga; Chief Information Security Officer, First Bank, Harrison Nnaji, and Head of Commercial Operations NIBSS, Ekeoma Chidi-Ugorji, represented by Tawheed Abdul Karim.

Moderator Chika Okeke asked questions about the initiatives, trends and systems that would become the next big thing when introduced into Nigeria’s payment system.

In response, Efenure noted that cash-based transactions continue to dominate the Nigerian payment system, but pointed to the emerging potential of digital payments innovations such as tokenization.

“By replacing card details with information that becomes useless to non-cardholders and hackers, tokenization is a key initiative that can reduce fraud risks and help win consumer trust,” he said.

In adopting e-checking and USSD inclusion while keeping funds safe, Nnaji cautioned that e-checking is not a one-stop-shop solution.

The bulk of USSD transactions across the country are usually less than N20,000. There are even transactions as low as N200. On the other hand, checks are largely for large transactions of up to N10,000,000.

“There is no way that you can make such a transaction and you will not be able to buy a smartphone that helps you make seamless digital payments with multi-factor authorization.”

Explaining CBN’s role in enhancing payments, Kuwer emphasized that the lead bank was passionate about payment systems and innovation in Nigeria.

The separation of banking services into two distinct divisions with a focus on banking services and payment systems was the starting point. The Regulatory Sandbox is another major initiative.

“We work in our endeavor to organize and provide the platform for our payment system to thrive and for consumers to be safe and secure in the ecosystem.”

In his remarks, Abdul Karim emphasized the importance of digital transformation of the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

“Digital transformation is customer-centric because it is the use of technology to drive our services and systems towards providing better, seamless and efficient payment services to our customers.

“It entails continuous iteration and improvement of the services we provide to Nigerians in terms of payments, identification and security.”

The event concluded with all participants highlighting the growth opportunities in the payments sector across Africa, and in Nigeria in particular.

Africa has more opportunities for fintech growth – Flutterwave Administrator, Efenure

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