Fintech also known as Financial technology are organizations that mixed innovation with technology to enhance financial service delivery in an efficient, effective manner and in a way that adds value to financial service users. As an emerging industry in Nigeria that has seen many startups and SMEs push against all odds to redefine financial service delivery, we can conclude that this disruption is a welcome development for the users. Other players in the industry include Technology organizations such as Telco and existing financial institutions that are innovatively deploying technology solutions with speed and promises of better service and value for money thereby creating a differentiating strategy for some financial institutions. The most common financial services being provided by the Fintech include payments, insurance, crowdfunding, tickets, deposits and lending, financial research, and investment management.
There appear to be extensive opportunities for growth for Fintech in Nigeria considering the size of the population and the economy which has the potential for growth. Besides, according to EY Global Fintech Adoption Index 2019, the global rate of Fintech adoption stands at 64% while the rate of adoption in China and India stands at 87%. And South Africa at 82%. In the United States of America, Fintech supported with structures, processes and best practices have expanded coast and have been registered as a bank despite stringent regulations guiding the provision of financial services.
The increasing growth of Fintech may be seen in some quarters as competition and threat to the banks. The reaction will continue to come from both sides. However, the odds are against the banks deductively based on the output of EY Global Fintech Adoption Rate Index of 2019. In this report, it was observed that 68% of consumers would prefer non-financial companies to provide financial services while 33% of consumers would prefer financial services from others different from their first bank and 46% willing to share their bank data with other organizations. This picture may not be different in Nigeria. Therefore, it is pertinent to state that the Fintech has a pride of place and high growth potential.
From the foregoing, how best can Fintech expand opportunities and increase the rate of adoption by consumers of financial services in Nigeria? The answers are found in the adoption and implementation of best practices standards produced by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The ISO standards will enable Fintech to develop governance structure and structured processes that address risk from all perceptive – Information Security, Cybersecurity, data protection, complaint management, compliance obligation, consumer protection etc.
Fintech will gain the confidence of several stakeholders such as the regulators, investors (local and foreign) and customers for implementing and getting certified to ISO standards. In addition, Fintechs that subscribe to third party assessment (certification body) and evaluation of its level of conformance with guidelines, requirements and other provisions of the ISO standards will enhance the visibility of its brand and is registered in the community of standard global organizations.
Key standards to use strategically to drive growth in the Fintech industry are ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management System, ISO 9001 Quality Management System, ISO /IEC 20000 Information Technology Service Management System, ISO 27701 Privacy Information Management, ISO/IEC 22301 Business Continuity Management System and ISO 27032 Cybersecurity.
Successful Fintech organizations in developed economies leverage on ISO standards to remain competitive, contain risk and gain markets. This is the time for Nigeria startups, SMEs to explore and grow exponentially.
Tenol Alpha is committed to supporting Fintech with such intention. For further information on the process, kindly email: firstname.lastname@example.org