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EFInA Fintech Webinar Q&A

Temitope Otumara 12:10 pm July 17, 2019

EFInA hosted a free event and webinar to disseminate the key findings from the Global and Nigerian Fintech Landscape survey conducted at the end of 2018. The sessions provided key takeaways from the survey on the fintech ecosystem, investments in fintech globally, key success factors for fintech companies to thrive, and ways identified to improve financial inclusion through the Fintechs. Here are the answers to all the questions from the webinar.

  • Availability of Presentation Slides

Please click here to view and download the slides presented during the webinar.

  • What are the interesting trends we are seeing in the Nigerian Fintech Space?

The Nigerian fintech space is evolving quite rapidly. The significant trends evident today are:

  1. Between 2014 and Q3 2018, over $250m was invested in Nigerian fintechs
  2. An increased number of lending and savings players are entering the space. The payment fintechs have attracted the most investments in Nigeria, and lending follows as the second most active due to the significant opportunity that exists in providing credit to consumers and small businesses
  3. Funding and adequate regulation are among the main gaps in the industry

Please look at our survey report to learn more

  • What sort of partnership opportunities do you think will be available with the Telcos once they secure the PSB license?

There will be an opportunity for telcos and other PSBs to white-label technologies, products and services fintechs have already developed (in the spirit of “collaborate rather than compete”). This will manifest in several ways, from partnering with fintechs that have existing desired geographical coverage to those with well-established products and promising technologies.

  • What is the level of penetration of Nigerian Fintechs, especially among unbanked population in Nigeria?

This data isn’t readily available. However, we know that 17% of  banked adult Nigerians use digital channels.

  • For strategic partnership can one use an existing key players platform and still get funding for a noble idea?

Partnerships are welcome as long as the lead applicant is a registered Fintech.

  • When are the PSBs launching services and what’s been the reaction from the banking sector about potential competition?

PSB licence applications are currently under review at the CBN. As this has been in the pipeline for a while, banks have been reviewing their strategies and repositioning to ensure they remain profitable and viable, and the hope is that Nigeria will profit from increased financial inclusion.

  • What new opportunities are available that are not being explored by existing fintechs?

Currently, the youth, women and Northern Nigeria constitute the highest financially excluded groups in Nigeria (According to the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2018 Survey).  This presents an opportunity for fintechs to develop products and services for this market. (Take a look at our survey report to learn more)

  • With most Fintech equity funding coming from outside the country. How do we improve the participation of local investors?

With improved availability and quality of data, the success of operators and prominence of the sector, publicized profitable exits of early fintech investors, and adequate and appropriate regulation to de-risk the sector, it will become more attractive to local investors.

  • Can you elaborate further on what the impact of the payment service bank regulation will be on the fintech landscape, when players like MTN and Airtel enter the space?

The inclusion of Telcos in the financial sector through the PSB regulation presents several exciting possibilities. It is expected that the Telcos will leverage mobile and digital technology to enhance financial inclusion and stimulate economic activities at the grassroots through the provision of financial services.

  • How do I get funding for my fintech start-up?

The Fintech fund is accessible through our Request for Proposals which will be advertised in the media and on our website. More information can be gotten on our website – www.efina.org.ng

  • Do you think from an investor’s perspective, fintech ventures are getting very expensive given recent attention drawn towards them?

Any sector that heats up and garners more attention from investors will always appreciate in value – pure supply and demand. As long as these ventures continue to provide value to investors, they will remain reasonably priced.

  • From recent articles that we see in the Press, there seems to be that the Regulator, most notably the CBN, is continuing to make amendments to the Regulatory Framework that applies to FInTechs.  How would you suggest that a new player looking to enter the market should deal with the Regulatory Uncertainty?

Regulations will continue to evolve at the pace the sector is progressing. However, constant engagement with the regulators is ongoing (by EFInA and other interested parties) to ensure that the regulations remain appropriate for the sector. As a new player, the advice would be to remain knowledgeable about current regulations, and nimble enough to adapt to any changes.

  • What is the role of the Open banking?

Open banking advocates for the use of open APIs, enabling fintechs and other third-party developers to build applications that will work with the financial institutions’ existing platforms. This does not exist yet in Nigeria but is currently being advocated for in some circles.

Open Banking APIs are valuable assets for financial services firms, as they enable them to enhance their service offerings, improve customer engagement, and build new digital revenue channels.

  • Thoughts on lending boom despite fact that collection is near impossible in this market and that lots of these loans are going toward things like gambling (at least in east Africa)?

Globally, lending is a major driver of financial inclusion. Even with the issue of collections in Nigeria, some fintechs have been able to produce successful (for now) business models for this, using AI and other technologies to properly profile potential customers creditworthiness. As the space matures, we expect this to continue to improve, and, of course, appropriate regulations and consumer protection measures are necessary as well.

  • What roles can academics (university researchers) play in the Nigerian Fintech space? Is data available publicly to be accessed for research in this space?

Academic research and support play a pivotal part in the development and evolution of the fintech sector. It has been identified as one of the key success factors for Nigerian fintech. (take a look at our survey report for more information)

  • Are the current offers between parties duplicated – what does it mean to stakeholders?

The pie is large enough for several players to be successful (for example, as of 2018, there were 33.6 million unbanked adults in Nigeria). While there may be duplication in some of the offerings, differentiation occurs with everything from geographical focus to market segment focus.

  • Does EFInA have core coverage areas in Nigeria? And does the focus preclude new entrants – it would appear the goal is to support and strengthen already established Fintechs – even if they aren’t covering or looking to cover the whole/significant portion of the country    

EFInA is focusing on targeting the highest financially excluded groups which are the Youth, Women and Northern Nigeria. Furthermore, EFInA supports both start-ups and growth stage fintechs. Our current $2million fund went to both start-up and growth stage fintechs.

  • How can a start-up connect to investors? Why are many Fintech companies not able to sustain their work in the Fintech environment and do you encourage partnerships with other Fintech?

There are different opportunities for start-up fintechs either from individual to corporate investors, via grants, equity investments, or loans. By keeping up to date with technology media, you can learn a lot about these opportunities as they come up. Partnerships are encouraged as this might improve the level of traction and improve innovation.

  • Thank you for your presentation. Do you have any information on the gender (male/female) ratio involvement in Nigeria’s fintech space? Are there more women or men founders or among those playing strategic roles?

There is currently a gender imbalance in fintech, as there are more male founders than female founders. However, there is increased participation of women in the space, and several organizations (including EFInA) are working to encourage this.

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