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Stakeholders Task CBN, NCC on Fintech Skills Devlopment

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Stakeholders Task CBN NCC to Conduct Fintech Skills Gap, SiliconNigeria

The Fintech specialists and other stakeholders have tasked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Nigeria Security Commission to conduct a talent needs survey to know the gap in the industry.

According to the professionals the survey will help the regulators to understand the type of manpower challenges the industry is facing and to assist the education and training institutes to develop relevant curricular.

The keynote speaker and President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu said the specific competencies identified by the survey would be a starting point for Fintech professionals, HR, educators and policy makers to understand what skills are needed in the industry.

The Fintech and Human Resources (HR) experts spoke during the Fintech Talent Summit – a co-located but focused event – within the annual Lagos Fintech Week 2020 which was held virtually last week.

Unanimous in their submissions, the specialists expressed the views that such a talent survey would empower the education and training centres to develop relevant programmes that will enable students to gain access to the Fintech and HR industry with maximum preparedness.

“The Nigeria Fintech ecosystem has become a leading network in Africa’s financial service industry through innovative solutions in lendtech, insurtech and wealthtech among others.

“The industry is regarded as a dominant force in Africa. However, despite the huge potential of Fintech, access to and retention of best-in-class talents is a growing concern within the industry”, the mavens agreed. 

According to a PwC report in 2017, 77 per cent of the Chief Executive Officers surveyed view skills shortages as business threats.

In his presentation, Mba-Uzoukwu explained that the skill shortages in the industry cut across hard and soft skills.  “Not only technical skills, but also specific communication and response behaviours that are highly valued in the Fintech industry”, he emphasized.

The PwC report highlighted the hard skills that are in shortfall to include communication, creativity, high emotional quotient (EQ), block chain, programming languages such as Python, C++, C#, GoLang, SQL, JavaScript and Java ML, AI, Deep Learning and cyber security.

Speaking on the Community-as-a-Service (CaaS): Connecting with the right Talent for Current and Future Opportunities, Professor Abiodun Aibinu,   Head of Department, Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Minna, identified 10 skills that are relevant to the future of work.

He listed EQ, critical thinking, active learning with growth mindset and judgment as well as decision making. Others include interpersonal communication, leadership, diversity and cultural intelligence, technological and embracing skills.

Also, the Executive Director at Innovectives Group, Ayo Oladimeji said “for us as Fintech experts, our talent pool is our greatest asset.  And this goes a long way to determine growth and success of the venture.

“To grow and achieve the mission of the business, we must help our team members to thrive by providing an inclusive and progressive work atmosphere,” he added.

The Fintech and HR professionals that also spoke at the summit include the Director General, Ekiti State Directorate of ICT, Dr. Hakeem Bakare; founder, Programmos Limited, Amos Emmanuel; CEO, Spacepointe, Sayu Abend; and CEO, Computic Limited, Moses Braimah.

Others include the founder and CEO of Riby Finance, Salami Abolore; Team Lead, Innfact Concepts, Akinbowale Alabi; the CTO, Inits Limited, Femi Taiwo and Head of Engineering at SystemSpecs, Mujib Ishola.

The faculty also had the CTO and Executive Director at Precise Financial Systems, Osifalujo Adedotun; Head, HR and admin, United Securities, Omobolanle Imafidon as well as the Chief Operating Officer, Automarket, Timi Tope Olagunoye.

Founder of Technology Times, Shina Badaru; Co-Founder/CEO, Ebanqo, Inc, Charles Ifedi; Group Head, Ringer One Africa Media (Roam), Tunde Adeniran; and Co-Founder, Social Lender, Bade Adesemowo were the others.

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Start-ups/Fintech

Innovectives Partners Mastercard on SME-in-a-Box Cashless Solution

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Innovectives Partners Mastercard on SME-in-a-Box Cashless Solution, SiliconNigeria

Innovectives Limited, Nigeria’s fintech firm has said it is excited to work with the amazing team at Mastercard and partner fintechs to unlock rapid growth through digitization for small businesses in emerging markets with SME-in-a-Box cashless solution. 

Mastercard has launched a new low-cost payments solution that enables small business owners to move their businesses online and accept a range of digital payments from their customers.

 The “SME-in-a-Box” solution is powered by Mastercard’s payment technologies and that of its StartPath fintech partners, including onboarding technology provider Signzy and Mastercard’s network of Tap on Phone partners. It is also powered in Nigeria by leading fintech, Innovectives.

The solution will aid small and micro merchants across the country in expanding their customer base via digital platforms and enable sustainable revenue growth.

The unique offering enables business owners to access a wide range of financial services quickly and easily through a single intuitive app compatible with all Android mobile devices. The app’s functionality supports contactless payments, Quick Response (QR) code payments, and can generate e-payment links for remote payments.

The platform can be leveraged by partners including banks, Payment Service Providers and Mobile Network Operators through application programming interfaces (APIs) or a white label app to rapidly take the solution to market

Olubusola Osilaja, Group Executive Director, Platforms and Partnership – Innovectives said, “Merchants across emerging markets are the backbone of these economies and are eager to do more. However, many of them are limited in accessing supportive financing and business support. In combination with the impact created due to the pandemic, the need to support SMEs is more stringent than ever before.

“We are leveraging our strength in banking, payment and lending technologies, along with a deep understanding of retail merchant networks to deliver SME-in-Box. We are excited to work with the amazing team at Mastercard and partner fintechs to unlock rapid growth through digitization for small businesses in emerging markets,” Osilaja said.

Mastercard has made a global commitment to bring 1 billion people into the digital economy by 2025. This includes 50 million small businesses and 25 million women entrepreneurs.

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mastercard has pledged $250 million in financial, technology, product, and insights support over the next five years to small businesses across the globe, supporting the financial security and vitality of businesses and their workers.

SME-in-a-Box offers a low-cost acceptance service that can run on smart phones and is powered by Mastercard Payment Gateway Services. It also delivers speed and simplicity with remote digital onboarding services from Mastercard’s StartPath partners.

In addition, through its Simplify Commerce offering, Mastercard will enable SMEs with a plug-&-play e-commerce store builder with an instant online checkout. SMEs can access a virtual card and get access to business tools through Mastercard’s partner ZOHO as well as get access to educational tools. These capabilities have been packaged as a bundled solution combined with special incentives to drive adoption and support business owners to tackle challenges during COVID-19.

Gaurang Shah, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Digital Payments & Labs, Middle East and Africa – Mastercard, commented: “The SME market represents 90 per cent of businesses in Nigeria, and has been deeply impacted by the pandemic.

 “We recognize the overwhelming pressure that small business owners are currently facing and are committed to supporting them through COVID-19 and beyond by bringing our tools at a low cost and rapid time to market. The SME-in-a-Box offering provides SME owners with a quick and simple way to digitize their business and build a platform for sustained future growth.”

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Digital Economy

Visa rolls out Fintech Partner Connect programme

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Visa rolls out Fintech Partner Connect programme, SiliconNigeria

Visa is to provide financial institutions and merchants with seamless access to a roster of 13 curated fintech partners offering a suite of value added digital payments services.

Fintechs enrolled in the initiative include credit scoring startup Aire, SME credit risk analytics firm AccountScore, buy now, pay later outfit ChargeAfter, subscription manager Minna Technologies, ID verification company Onfido and CO2 footprint tracker ecolytiq, among others.

The European rollout of Fintech Partner Connect follows a successful pilot which has already seen a number of Visa’s clients embark on new projects says Mark Nelsen, SVP, Europe Product, at Visa.

“The popularity and need for digital payments and online banking has never been greater with the global pandemic accelerating this shift in behaviour,” he says. “This means that financial institutions and businesses of all sizes are looking for ways to rapidly develop their offerings. Visa Fintech Partner Connect enables them to do just that, combining Visa expertise with some of Europe’s most innovative fintechs to develop next generation digital solutions.”

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Innovations

Access Bank Restates Commitment to Technology Innovation At Nigerian Fintech Week 2020

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, SiliconNigeria

Access Bank has reiterated its commitment to advancing technological innovation with bank’s sponsorship of the Nigerian Fintech week 2020. The weeklong event highlighted Fintech as a solution to problems across different industries including health, agriculture and logistics.

Speaking at the event, Ade Bajomo, the executive director for Information Technology and Operations at Access Bank Plc, said, “Access Bank is committed to positively impacting lives and building the economy through technology. For years, the Bank has invested in several initiatives geared towards improving access to technological innovations while providing platforms for tech enthusiasts to innovate and make massive impact on the society.”

One of such innovation is Facepay which is a pioneer solution in Africa that captures the face of an individual and leverages same to grant access to financial services for the unbanked, make instore payments seamlessly at merchant locations and subsequently build queless branches.

Furthermore, Ade Bajomo spoke about how various Digital identity systems are leveraged across the world to provide economic inclusion for 1 Billion people who are estimated to lack access to financial services because they do not have a form of legally recognised Identity.

The foremost example was how India’s Aadhaar identity management programme which has 1.2 billion indians has been leveraged for financial inclusion, direct beneficiary programmes, humanitarian assistance, AML compliance and cost savings in government processes. He stated that Nigeria has a lot to learn from this and Access Bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital identity systems to promote economic inclusion.

Bajomo also added that “By partnering with the Africa Fintech Foundry and sponsoring a momentous occasion like the Nigerian FinTech Week, the Bank is  contributing to the strides that we are experiencing in the Fintech landscape and to the  growth of the economy at large. This is done through thought leadership, acceleration and incubation of tech start-ups, hosting of hackathons and delivering digital products tailored to the African market. Through these interventions, other sectors of the economy would be able to experience a 360-degree growth as well.”

Further cementing Access Bank’s involvement in the Fintech, Mr Ade Bajomo was inaugurated as the new President of FintechNGR at the 2020 AGM of the association. Speaking after his inauguration, he stated that he would work with members of the association and the industry to create solutions, employment, wealth and capacity, as well as position Nigeria as a leading market for global FinTech Innovation and Investment.

In his capacity as president, Mr Bajomo will be tasked with furthering the strategic mandate of the association to accelerate, connect and advocate with all stakeholders which includes Members of Fintech Association of Nigeria, innovators and Fintech thought leaders, techpreneurs, Venture capitalists, accelerators, the Regtech Community, other Fintech associations and other well-meaning partners who can help the association realise its ambitions.

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