THE Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Exchange Limited, Mr Temi Popoola, has said fintech companies have the potential to transform the capital market and effectively build a digital economy.
He made this assertion at the 2021 National Workshop of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers.
The CEO who was represented by the Divisional Head, Trading Business at NGX, Jude Chiemeka, said that instead of seeing fintechs as competitors, they should be seen as potential partners to incumbent capital market infrastructure providers like NGX.
Citing the Pulse of Fintech H2 2020 report, Popoola revealed that the global investments by fintechs was $105bn, despite a huge drop from the $165bn recorded in 2019, adding that Nigerian fintechs raised about $439m in 2020.
According to the CEO, fintechs are transforming the financial services industry by focusing on targeted products and services, automating and commoditising high margin processes, strategic use of data and collaborating with incumbents.
According to Popoola, the NGX provides access to capital, trade execution, post-trade services, data analytics and information services, operations and technology.
He however said that the NGX was not left out of the adoption of fintech as it continued to adopt technology to improve market accessibility and transparency.
He said, “As Africa’s largest economy and with a population of 200 million — 40% of which is financially excluded, Nigeria is classified as a developing fintech economy compared to its more mature global peers such as the UK, Singapore, Australia, Sweden and India.
“EY estimates that Nigerian fintech revenues will reach $543m by 2022, driven by increasing smartphone penetration, unbanked populations and a focused regulatory drive to increase financial inclusion and cashless payments.
“In line with the evolution of fintech in other markets, fintech activity in Nigeria started in payments and moved into other areas. Consumer lending — and, increasingly, asset management — are focal points for fintech activity.”
He said the NGX would keep up with solutions and innovation to explore projects that leverage distributed ledgers, cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence to improve financial inclusion and market accessibility.