Fintech: Building new frontiers.

Building new frontiers is the vocabulary of a great society, this is largely achieved by co-creation, and resolve to constantly do better. Technological advances and innovation have been the key to driving the erstwhile ailing Nigerian economy. In recent years there's been an emergence of Fintech start-ups, incubators, and regulatory consortiums in the Nigerian 'technosphere'. The rise of e-commerce activities and the need to move from a predominantly cash-driven economy to a secure credit-based has spurred the need for innovative seamless ways of doing business. Innovation has lead to the need for forward-thinking financial services, customers are better served when their demands are met with ease.

This has lead to an exponential growth in mobile money operatives, KPMG reports that e-transactions have grown from $5 million monthly in 2011 to $142.8 million in 2016. The surge in smartphone penetration has also played a favorable part in this, consumer behavior has experienced a somewhat paradigm shift. Now marketers have to find a way to take the products to the consumers, who with the push of a button can complete various transactions. Though still behind compared to other economies globally the Nigerian tech scene has an abundance of talented young creatives who are willing to work for a whole lot less than their foreign counterparts.
The global Fintech and software sector is expected to grow to $45 billion by 2020, Africa's hubs are mainly in Nigeria, Egypt and, South Africa. Investments in Nigerian hubs have grown to 200 million over the last 2years, with a population of over 115 million citizens below the age of 35, we are easily Africa's biggest tech-hub. However, to foster sustainable growth, there's a need to establish a viable Fintech ecosystem. The pillars of this will include start-ups, Universities, research institutes, government regulators, financial institutions, incubators, and tech vendors.

In 2014, the Nigerian government announced plans to create innovation hubs around the country with Lagos and Abuja being focal points. This lead to tech-hubs like Co-creation hub, iDEA hub springing up, the Lagos State government has also partnered with angel investors and Stanford graduate business school, to turn Yaba into a viable tech -hub like the likes of silicon valley. Players like Andela, Code Lagos have been created to teach young creatives the tools of bringing about financial solutions that will revolutionize business.

Even with all these admirable moves forward, there's a lot yet to be done, the mobile systems regulatory bodies still have to ensure compliance and remove bottle-neck that will ease co-creation. Financial institutions and mobile phone networks also need to do more by serving as incubators for the budding start-ups for sustainability.

The 'Great Society', like President Johnson, mused is “not a safe harbor, a resting place, a final objective, a finished work. It is a challenge constantly renewed.”

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