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Ecobank wants fintech firms, banks, telcos to collaborate

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The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, has said more collaboration is needed between fintech companies, banks, and telecommunications companies to spur markets in health, agriculture, education, and transportation sectors, among others.

Akinwuntan, who stated this in his keynote address at the Nigeria Fintech Week, said for Nigeria fintech companies to accelerate positive disruption for value, there was a strong need to develop talents, solve problem beyond payments, monetise data and challenge the status quo, according to a statement issued by the bank.

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.

According to him, 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.

“We must take the lead to introduce a continent-wide Bank Verification Number and Global Standing Instruction for Africa under the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, and champion blockchain for cross-border payments in agriculture, education, and the government i.e. leveraging technology for better productivity,” Akinwuntan said.

He also stressed the need to look at ways to improve cybersecurity and defence.

He said, “With a pan-African reach, award-winning capabilities, and a customer base of over 25 million, Ecobank is enabling and partnering with fintech platforms across the continent.

“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.”

The President of the Nigeria Fintech Association, Dr Olusegun Aina, was quoted as saying that Nigeria must position itself digitally, adding that digital readiness would spur economic recovery in 2021 and beyond.

According to him, with the economic vulnerability following the COVID-19, fintech companies are undoubtedly the solution to the current disruptions.

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