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Clear explanatory details emerged on Thursday in Lagos at the first edition of the Access Bank driven Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF) Conference where experts and the bank rolled out gains of emerging disruptions powered by financial technologies (Fintechs) in traditional banking.
Before now, financial solutions providers in the global financial services sector are facing stiffer competition from new players in the financial technology space.
Otherwise, emerging technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrency, P2P payments and crowdfunding are disrupting traditional business models.
But leading financial services provider, Access Bank has decided to take up the challenge of breaking down the need to digitally transform and innovate in a customer-centric and engaged manner so that whereas more jobs will be created, players in the banking industry will advance more in service creativities and delivery after all.
In his presentation tagged; ‘Digital Leadership: The future of financial services’, the chief executive and managing director of Access bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe averred that “AFF, an Access Bank initiative aims to nurture, fund and accelerate the growth of FinTech startups in Africa through its mentorship and accelerator programmes, fast-tracking their growth and maturity to deliver relevant solutions to the market, providing greater access to financial services to the financially excluded across the continent”.
Wigwe, represented by the Group Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Roosevelt Ogbonna, noted further that “AFF will create new opportunities for African innovators and entrepreneurs by providing incubation support to startups. It also seeks to shore up the business capacity of startups, support business development and facilitate access to capital, markets, customers and global innovation partners”.
He added that “AFF also provides a test bed to showcase best practices and the successes of African-led Fintech solutions”.
He recalled that innovation had been one of the leading core values of the bank, stressing that disruptions paves way for more innovations.
Earlier in his Keynote address, Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode said Fintech is currently driving revolution in the financial services market and it is more needed now that Africa is still low in meeting up with global financial trends driven by innovations.
The Governor, represented by the State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Olufemi Odubuyi argued further that Fintech innovations are needed more now in Nigerian as the country is transiting to a dynamic financial ecosystem that will be in line with developments across the financial world.
He called on stakeholders to reposition the financial services industry in line with global growth in the industry.
Also speaking, former Minister of Communications technology, Dr. Mrs. Omobola Johnson, called on stakeholders to support the Fintech startups so that Nigeria will lead the continent in the drive to seamless financial service delivery.
Business Hilights recalls that AFF’s Executive Director, Mr Victor Etuokwu had at a pre-event press briefing in November made it clear that “Innovation remained the only insurance against irrelevance”, adding that the bank will continue to work with FinTechs to offer better services to customers.
He said Access Bank founded and bankrolled the AFF in order to promote innovation in Nigeria, Africa and the global community, adding that AFF is Access Bank accelerator, which is seeking to create new opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.
While noting that the Foundry is to provide a platform to inspire and challenge African innovators and entrepreneurs, he revealed that “AFF will provide Africa companies seeking to launch their products, with capacity building and training in business development”.
Over 500 startups youths were drilled on the best business models to drive their aspirations in the industry of financial technology.