By Emmanuel Ilesanmi
You probably are familiar with these lines:
To improve your experience on our platforms, we have scheduled system maintenance between 1:00 am – 2:30 am tomorrow, Sunday, 4th December 2022. During this period, our platforms will not be available for transactions. We cannot wait to welcome you back to a much more convenient & smooth experience. We are sorry for the inconvenience this might cause, and thank you for your patience & continued patronage.”
This was the experience of Nigerians, including those domiciled in the Unversity of Ibadan, on Saturday, December 3, 2022, while trying to make payment with GTBank, one of Nigeria’s popular and most valuable traditional banks in Nigeria. While this is one of the many occurrences that take place weekly, users who experienced this on Saturday took to Twitter to express their frustration, complaining that not only was it something that could put them in an embarrassing situation but lead to a complete waste of time when shopping. The use of technology is therefore necessary for seamless transactions in today’s cashless economy with the superb invention, specific yet precise innovation novel to the ecosystem market of their customers, and this is where fintech comes in to save the day.
Though fintech in Nigeria has been described to be in its infancy stage, it is interesting to see how businesses in the tech space can create, develop and market their software to capture its market and make it micro-efficient. Coined from the words: finance and technology, fintech has been used to describe technology that delivers financial services through software and mobile application. According to an October report by Mastercard titled “The Future of Fintech: Rapid Growth Smart Capital”, Nigeria, as highlighted, is among the top hub leading the transition to digital payments and has witnessed massive growth in usability and funding in 2021, with even more projected growth having birthed two unicorns in 2021.
Gaps that need Fintech
At the moment, very few vendors on the campus at the University of Ibadan do not receive bank payments or use a Mobile Point of Sales(POS). However, not many are capable enough to ensure the process is effortless and stress-free. So there is a stress-free gap that fintech needs to fill when the everyday UITE carries out a 24/7hrs card/app transaction at a sales outlet without the regular, “You have to wait until I see the alert” or “We cannot take your order now if you do not have cash”. While the identification of a problem is one aspect of problem-solving, the implementation of the pitch-perfect program is what helps keep the balance.
How FinTech Comes in Handy
One of the goals of technology is to make things easier and faster, so If you have found it difficult or gone through a hard time trying to authenticate a transaction, you think of fintech as a consumer, vendor, or developer. As highlighted by the Mastercard report, the adoption of smartphones is key to spreading Fintech in Africa. In light of this, fintech startups can easily bridge payment gaps where mobile phone adoption is high. Thankfully, UI is an ecosystem of a predominant youth population with an expected smartphone user rate.
Tech startups have developed practical fintech tools for everyday banking and many other fintech niches that focus more on personal finance, investing, or payments. One startup seeking to take advantage of the market is Interpocket, a fintech solution platform. In a chat with one of the Co-Founders and CTO, Mr. Ibrahim Abubakar Yinka, he provided insight stating that the platform is a gateway from slow and unreliable bank transactions, as it provides an instant and seamless solution for students on campus to easily make payments at their favourite vendors, which gives users the confidence to move around cashless. New Flava restaurant, Klass restaurant, Pepsi stand, and others are currently using the app.
If Fintech startups are properly introduced and managed in UI, best believe it could lead to easy payment methods for your sales vendor and everyday services like transport and other daily expenses currently augmented by cash.