By Dipo Olowookere
Chief Operating Officer of Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria (RMB), Mr Funso Odukoya, has dispelled insinuations that banks do not grant credit facilities to financial technology (fintech) companies because they are viewed as competitors to the banking sector.
Speaking during a panel session at the 2018 Annual National Conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Lagos, recently, Mr Odukoya said getting capital to run a fintech firm should not be a problem if such organisation has value.
According to him, in most countries where fintechs had developed, “you will discover that they are not really dependent on banks’ funding.”
“There are venture capitalists and private equity companies that look into the value the start-up is bringing and they provide funds to those companies,” he said.
“So, fintechs that are struggling for funds, I would say is because they have no value to offer. If a fintech start-up has value, funding will seek such a firm out,” Mr Odukoya declared.
According to the banker, “We have instances of young start-ups that are flooded with funding because they are bringing value to the table.”
He said the “relationship between the banks and the fintechs have to be collaborative. It mustn’t be we against them, it has to be all of us working together to achieve the ultimate goal of reaching out to everyone.”
“So, the goal is not for fintechs to overtake banks, or banks to overtake fintechs. The goal is to reach out to everyone and make financial services affordable and available to everyone,” he submitted.
While commenting on the theme of the programme, ‘Banks, Fintechs and Nigeria’s Financial Inclusion Journey,’ Mr Odukoya pointed out that, “To achieve financial inclusion, we need to educate everyone. Let’s get the information out there and let’s bring people into the financial system.”
According to him, “We can achieve this by understanding our culture and by leveraging information to make sure everybody understands what financial inclusion is about.”
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