The Financial Services Innovators (FSI) has expressed its commitment towards deepening financial inclusion in the country by providing safe innovative payment and identity solutions in order to prevent fraudulent activities within the banking space.
The company, during its maiden Hackaton competition, which is currently taking place in various regions of the country, said that the initiative was born from the idea of people being able to identify an individual with a unique identifier whenever and wherever they want to transact.
This, it explained, would enhance the level of trust when consumers are transacting with their banks, or merchants, or third-party service providers.
The Chairman, Financial Services Innovators, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, while speaking with journalists midway into the programme, themed “How would you innovate payment and identity systems to prevent fraud and keep people safe with payments,” stated that the firm was prepared to make payment processes much more seamless and simplified in order to make it inclusive for everyone.
According to him, one of the goals of the company is to ensure Nigeria emerges as the financial technology service provider of the world, “which can be achieved by leveraging the infrastructure and financial institutions that we have.”
Aboyeji said, “Also, we have awarded the team that emerged as the winner the sum of N3m; the second-placed team got N2m; and then the third-placed team with N1m, respectively.
“In addition to this, we are going to be providing mentorship schemes in order to support them and upscale their innovations and solutions.”
He added, “We are also working towards engaging the regulators in order to help them understand the practical challenges innovators and customers are facing when it comes to financial inclusion in order for them to generate and implement policies that would drive financial inclusion.”
The Executive Director, Financial Services Innovators, Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, said, “We led the initiative to enhance financial inclusion in Nigeria because we believe that we have a large volume of talents in Nigeria.
“So, we are dedicated towards creating and driving innovations, thus this Hackathon is aimed at giving opportunities to the youth and delightfully, we have 20 teams competing for the top place.”
On her part, the Head of Innovation, Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access, Dayo Ademola, said, “This initiative would help bring thousands of hackers from around the world together in order to tackle a particular identified problem around identity and payment transactions.
“The hackathon initiative is important because it helps the financial sector to develop ideas from broader scope of people because solutions can come from anywhere.
“By tackling identity issues, we are able to develop products and services that are safer for people at the bottom of the financial pyramid and the mass market are enabled to engage in the payment infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, the Director, Payments System Management Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Musa Jimoh, said, “The journey towards redefining the financial technology space has got to the stage where it is being redefined and enhanced with modern approaches.”
Represented by the Assistant Director, Payments System Management Department, CBN, he said, “We are looking forward to the financial technology sector experiencing innovative drastic change in regards to consumer payment behaviour, enhance the market confidence and encourage the use of digital financial services in Nigeria.
“The opportunity for the sector is very enormous, considering that till date many Nigerians are yet to have their first contact with formal financial services.”
The CBN director added, “However, the industry thus far has experienced immense growth and development. The major driver has been technology.
“It has introduced initiatives such as USSD payments systems, which made various financial transactions simpler and more effective.”