Healthy competition and collaboration among the Fintech stakeholders will fast-track the future of the Fintech ecosystem, says a Fintech expert and Chief Executive Officer of Social Lender, Mrs Faith Adesemowo.

According to Mrs Adesemowo, healthy competition and collaboration are two factors that will drive the growth of the Fintech ecosystem in Nigeria as well as foster innovation in the industry.

Mrs Adesemowo said this as she spoke about the future of the Fintech ecosystem at the weekend during the Digital Financial Services Masterclass with the theme “Understanding the Fintech Ecosystem of the Future.”

She drew attention to the dynamic Fintech landscape when she highlighted the competition between Twitter and Threads as well as the traditional banks and Fintech startups.

“How do you compete with the big firms like Twitter and Threads who are rolling out payment channels on their platforms? It is through collaboration. Collaboration is good but competition is healthy. Collaboration and competition are drivers of growth in the Fintech ecosystem. These factors would foster innovation and propel the industry forward,” she said.

Artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency and a proactive approach would drive Fintech in the future, she stated, saying, “The future is bigger than what we are seeing. As such the customers should be protected.”

While the impact of the last pandemic has forced the ecosystem to change, there is a need to protect the customers, as this is a critical element for a better future in the rapidly expanding Fintech ecosystem, she said.

Mrs Adesemowo discussed the shifting consumer behaviour and the emergence of new businesses. She, therefore, raised the need to embrace the benefits of digital connectivity as well as maintain a balanced approach to well-being, urging a focus on physical health and exercise.

In a similar vein, she highlighted the importance of embracing prudent capital management, appropriate risk-taking, and effective strategies for engaging with government bodies and managing product perception.

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As the adoption of digital transactions continues to rise, she stressed the importance of safeguarding sensitive financial information online.

She pointed out that attention to data privacy and security is important, as such, she urged the stakeholders to be vigilant and ensure a safe and secure environment for financial transactions and interactions.

She emphasized that robust data privacy and security measures would protect users’ data and build trust and confidence while creating an environment that is conducive to innovation and industry expansion.

Held at the behest of Social Lender, the Digital Financial Services Masterclass webinar paraded other fintech experts including Olufemi Davies, Group Head, Product and Innovations (Purepay) Interswitch Group, and Hakeem Martins, Information Systems Compliance Lead, Courtville Business Solutions and others.

Mr Hakeem Martins stressed the importance of information security within the Fintech ecosystem, saying safeguarding sensitive financial data has become the priority for all Fintech companies, “which underlined the significance of implementing robust authentication measures and conducting penetration testing by ethical hackers to identify vulnerabilities and strengthen system security”.

The information security expert underlined the crucial role of encryption in preserving the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of financial data.

He, however, warned that cyber-attacks pose a significant risk to all stakeholders in the Fintech ecosystem, necessitating strong information security measures to maintain trust and protect both organisations and customers.

He encouraged industry stakeholders to invest in threat intelligence services and prioritise information security measures, given the continued growth of the Fintech industry.