March 25, 2021

Regulation, inadequate funding are bedeviling the progress of Nigeria’s fintech industry – Akinbiyi Morakinyo

Regulation, inadequate funding are bedeviling the progress of Nigeria’s fintech industry – Akinbiyi Morakinyo

Akinbiyi Morakinyo is a well experienced Nigerian digital Technology expert with decades of years conceptualizing a number of profitable products. In his words: lack of funding remains a critical hurdle for Fintechs in Africa and other emerging markets. He has tasked the Nigerian government to assist in growing the country’s digital financial technology industry with special funding.

He also believes there is a need for perfect regulatory ecosystem and policy alignment within the Fintech sector for the space to scale. Lack of funding and unfavorable regulations are major challenges hampering the industry’s growth.

Morakinyo is the Director of products at 3line Card Management and is the brain behind the popular Medusa platform, which currently generates over $100m monthly in transaction processing. He also developed a merchant solution called Visum, which provides a way for SMEs to digitize their businesses and collect payment digitally. These two products are being used by banks, Fintechs and thousands of Small Medium Enterprises with a turnover of hundreds of millions of dollars. He believes access to funding would have tremendously helped in the early stages of these two products

Morakinyo noted that Nigeria’s fintech companies have capitalized on the poor banking services in rural Nigerian communities to stimulate the development of the country’s digital economy despite the recurring challenges.

Speaking in a recent interview, he said though, Nigeria remains the biggest market of Fintech ideas in Africa, regardless of the number of venture capital in the market and the fraction of funding coming into Africa, the inability of entrepreneurs to secure large funding plus the uncertainty in the Nigeria’s regulatory space has hindered the dreams of many entrepreneurs.

“Nigeria remains the biggest market of Fintech ideas, but the inability of entrepreneurs to secure funding has killed the dreams of many entrepreneurs. I believe the government can also assist in setting special funds aside to look into Fintech funding in order for the sector to scale”.

“The uncertainty in the regulatory space remains one of the greatest challenges for Fintechs. No one can predict the direction of the government in terms of regulations and policies. There are several examples to support this, and one that easily comes to mind is twitter ban. Regulators and Government need to understand they play very critical roles in building the fintech sectors and creating the perfect regulatory ecosystem that supports Foreign direct investments,” he said.

According to him, financial technology (FinTech) operators accounted for 63 percent of the 1.37 billion dollars funding raised in Nigeria in 2021.He said looking into the future “fin tech will reduce unemployment, as it keeps advancing in it’s functionality and value add, the society will keep embracing it and using more technology and eventually more jobs will be created in the society than is lost”.Also several business changing products will be developed.

The Director of Products also encouraged Nigeria fintech enthusiasts to tap into the payment aspect of the field as contactless payment will become more popular in a few years time. Cash is our enemy and we must find every way to displace it, he said.

The pandemic has exposed us to several possibilities, of which digital payment is one of them. I strongly believe that the Nigerian market is getting ready for the NFC/contactless payment wave. Digital payment grew about 30% during the lockdown, because businesses had to go online during the time. So It’s not a matter of if, but when the next pandemic hits, we must prepare for all possibilities to profit from it”. He added.