Takeaways From #InterswitchConnect: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

David Afolayan
Takeaways from #InterswitchConnect

This was first published on Olisa.tv.

The objective for the organizers of the Interswitch connect event is clear: bring key players and enthusiasts in the tech and payments space, in Nigeria, in one room to discuss the future of the sector as well as highlight how players can take advantage of industry developments.

The event which was themed “Digital Transformation Imperatives: Innovative Evolution or Disruptive Innovation” was graced by key figures and had its stage bedecked by resourceful speakers and panellists who dished out indelible nuggets. I will be sharing a few with you here:

1. Brett King’s Divine Revelation:

Keynote Speaker and Futurist, Brett King, dripped enough to last participants until the next event.

You may doubt the veracity of this claim but if you recall that Alibaba was never started out as a Fintech but it owns the biggest Fintech outfit in China, neither was Apple (but it has a payment platform) and that Amazon is gradually dominating the Agric space; then you will agree with Brett.

Yet, another mind-blowing revelation from Brett:

But, here is the almighty one:

Many of us have allowed ourselves to believe that robots are the type we have known from the “Transformers” movie. But, robots are much more and in many cases, less ferocious. The robot may be wearable, ingested, factory-located or even have replaced a part of your body. yes! Like an artificial limb that gives you extra capabilities.

Whatever it is, they will be more than humans by 2035, says Brett. We cannot but hope they don’t have a mind of their own.

2. Austin Okere’s warning to Nigerian banks: innovate or die!

It is quite rare to have anyone give warnings at less competitive, non-political gatherings. But one man was brave enough to tell us what it is:

The truth is that most banks in Nigeria offer less than standard services to their customers. In reality, most Nigerians use the banks because of the risk of having their cash with them at home. yet, these banks have the most opportunity and resources to innovate and change the way banking is done in Nigeria.

As Brett King has said, they can mimic, acquire or partner with Fintechs to offer customer-focused solutions. I am optimistic that some of them will not wait until when extinction begins to beckon to reckon with the reality.

3. Shola Akinlade: Banks and Fintechs will co-exist peacefully eventually

While it is true that Fintechs are the courted brides of today and the possible dominants of tomorrow’s market, the possibility of them dwelling in harmony with the institutions they seek to disrupt is not impossible.

The Co-founder of Paystack announced this union with a glee.We look forward to the possibility.

4. Interswitch to Launch QUickTeller Loans soon

Interswitch is coming into a space that has been explored by early-comer Fintechs like Paylater.ng. We hope that Interswitch will bring its size to bear in issues like timing, loan size and length of repayment.

5. Musa Itopa: We do not need more banks. We need more efficient channels

One of the most striking info at this conference is the revelation that the number of banks around the country is not as crucial as the efficient banking channels available to the population. The Difference Diamond Yello Account and *737# has made in the number of transactions made on a daily basis bears witness.
Anyway, there is hope for the future:

Side attractions

The event had some other good sides like Brett King did more than delivering a good lecture

An in-Event Radio station:

And, the not very good sides:


In all, I must say that, for a maiden event, Interswitch has done a very good job with #nterswitchConnect. We look forward to the fruits in earnest.

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