echnology is transforming every industry and sector at such a fast pace, businesses cannot afford to play catch up. Some of the disruptions we see today were not necessarily predicted a hundred years ago, but as technology advances, we see them happen in what seems like a twinkle of an eye. Financial and payment systems will continue to evolve, the speed and ease with which transactions occur today are very remarkable, compared to what was obtainable before the advent of financial technology.
Nigeria’s fintech industry continues to show significant growth and mobile payment has become a major revenue source for payment service providers. Fintech is improving a lot of areas within the industry including customer banking experiences, data security and the automation of key processes.
Below, are some of the key trends that will drive not only the payments business in Nigeria but also play a huge role in narrowing the gap between the banked and unbanked population.
Artificial Intelligence and digital conversational banking
One of the most highly anticipated FinTech trends for 2019 is the rise of digital conversational banking. Customers now find calling in or waiting in the teller queue very unreasonable for any kind of banking service. Even visiting a branch is now a matter of choice for the customer and will soon become a thing of the past.
The rise of artificial intelligence and conversational banking creates an enabling environment where people can communicate with a chatbot as if it were a real person. Bots can perform tasks such as telling the customer how much money is in their account, or what expenses they have incurred for particular services and possibly make a budget. Bots can even serve as financial advisors for each customer, helping them make better financial choices.
In 2019, more financial institutions will rely on artificial intelligence to better understand their customers. This will build greater customer engagement and provide access to valuable data about what customers really care about. Future product offerings will be a lot easier to define with data collected from AI.
Large Investments in FinTech Innovations
Experts say that Fintech is the future of banking and every player is bracing up for collaborations that will yield unparalleled rewards for all parties involved. In 2019, more fintech start-ups will enter the mainstream through partnerships. Traditional financial service companies will aggressively pursue the integration of financial technologies within their ecosystem. Where they are unable to match up with fintech companies, they would act as venture capitalists and shake hands in partnership with them. Well, as the saying goes, if you can’t beat them, you join them.
Increase in digital and mobile payment solutions
You need not to be told that the increasing attraction towards mobile banking will not be slowing down in 2019. As a result, we expect to see a sharp rise in institutions that have no physical branches but primarily provide financial services through mobile apps.
Mobile payment is now gaining popularity among millennials as they can receive services at the comfort of their homes or offices, and no longer have to visit banks. The adoption of Fintech products will continue to expand to other strata of society in 2019 and so visits to bank branches are expected to drop considerably while mobile transactions are expected to grow rapidly. Soon it’ll be safe to say that cash is very much a thing of the past as mobile money takes the Centre stage in finance.
NowNow Nigeria is a mobile payment solution whose mission is innovating and creating the largest fintech ecosystem in Africa. NowNow seeks to bridge the gap between the banked and unbanked and to see that the use of cash and leather wallets are completely eliminated. NowNow is advocating and re-enforcing the need to use e-wallets as the wallet for the future.
Improvements in data and cybersecurity
The risk of not protecting your organization from cyber threats has never been higher. So yes, cybersecurity is still top on the mind of every business leader. In 2019, we would see a rise in demand for security skills in the workplace. Tailored training programs and skill growth in this area will be given priority. Fintech regulations will expand, and regulators will increasingly step into the scene to protect investors and create a much stronger regulatory framework.
The role of Machine learning will be seen in intelligence gathering, such that machines will have the ability to start making their own decisions and implement changes themselves in order to minimize cyber-risk, based on this intelligence.
In conclusion, as technology keeps evolving, Fintech is set to make the financial sector more efficient and convenient as well as reduce inaccuracies and solidify security.