Within the past decade, we’ve witnessed a staggering evolution of technological advancements, perhaps not in the way many expected. Rather than grow more extravagant, technology has, instead, become an integral part of our daily lives. The very concept of having a smart device in your pocket is incredible, but it has become commonplace.
This idea of incredible advancements becoming a convenience applies to many different sectors of technology, and this especially includes financial technology. Advancements in financial technology, often referred to as “FinTech,” have had a staggering effect on the efficiency of payments in Nigeria and Africa at large.
FinTech is a portmanteau for “financial technology.” On its own, FinTech refers to every form of technology involved in making financial services work. These technologies are used to streamline, augment, digitize and disrupt traditional finance services in ways that benefit everyone. These include the process of paying for goods and services, which has been improved significantly.
Considering all the benefits, FinTech advancements have quietly snuck their way into many facets of everyday life. The organic way that they’ve been integrated may make them seem mundane now, but the way they’re used to facilitate easier and faster payments in Africa is revolutionary.
From a consumer standpoint, one of the earliest introductions of FinTech into daily life would be card payments. Being able to pay for things with your debit or credit card introduced a level of convenience that was never thought possible before it. Eliminating the process of needing to withdraw your money to use it saves users time and effort, but that’s only the tip of the FinTech iceberg.
Banks use FinTech for back-end processes, behind the scenes monitoring that allows for consumer-focused solutions. An example of this would be the banking apps account owners can use that feature a plethora of functions, from checking your balance to making transactions. Thanks to this, consumers can pay for purchases instantly from anywhere.
With e-commerce in Africa taking off like never before, technology once again provides a service to benefit consumers. The advent of online payments speeds up the process of obtaining a product, with transactions being instantaneous and fast. Having your product paid for and shipped to you cuts out completely on travel time is simply another example of how FinTech has changed how we live. Thanks to FinTech companies such as Remita, and Flutterwave for their innovative online payments’ solutions for merchants.
FinTech advancements challenge the tradition of financial services using innovation to replace older, outdated processes. Much of the interest in FinTech is related to the way in which innovation in the financial sector can lead to increased access, better services, and gains in efficiency. For consumers, this means faster, safer payments that can be done at your own convenience.
With time, further technological advancements will be made, and with that, we’ll see a greater increase in the adoption of FinTech. An example of this is the introduction of e-wallets, which push for safer transactions. These services fading into the background and becoming a part of normal life is the goal, and so far, it’s been working great.
Kola-Balogun is a software development expert specialising in building FinTech products in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He is also the founder and lead contributor of React Grids, an open-source tabulation software.