Access Bank: we’re not threatened by fintechs

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Access Bank says it is not threatened by the emergence of financial technologies (FinTechs) in the country. Rather than seen them as threats, they are more of collaborative to the desire of the lender to deepen products and market development.

Mr Victor Etuokwu, an Executive Director at the bank, said it is the belief of the bank that innovation remained pivotal to lender, adding that failure to innovate will render any business irrelevant.

He spoke ahead the first edition of Africa Fintech Foundary (AFF) Disrupt 2017 conference in Lagos.

He said the idea of the AFF was in line with what other leading banks in the world have done, adding that it will help to promote innovation in Nigeria, Africa and the global community.

Etuokwu said the AFF is Access Bank’s accelerator that will create new opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.

The AFF, designed by the lender to provide a platform designed to inspire and challenge African innovators and entrepreneurs.

According to him AFF will provide Africa companies seeking to launch their products, with capacity building and training in business development.

''It will provide connectivity to global innovation grids, promote access to capital, create opportunities for partnerships and showcase best practices and successes in Africa-led innovation solutions.

''The world we live in is changing. As a bank, we are looking for better ways to serve our customers. So, in order to be and remain relevant in the ever-changing world, we had to be innovative.AFF and the AFF Disrupt conference are ways to grow and maintain the market share of Access Bank. AFF is here to disrupt the African continent and it will impact not only the banking sector, but will impact both health, security, agriculture and the economy in general,'' he said.

The Head of AFF, Mr Victor Okigbo said the Foundary was supported by Access Bank, Microsoft, IBM, Saas and other technology majors.

Okigbo said the facility would be officially inaugurated on December 13 while the AFF Disrupt conference would hold on December 14 in Lagos.

He said that the facility would be conducting innovation tour to different parts of the country and four African cities, so as to encourage start-ups to take advantage of the Foundary to improve on their innovative ideas.

Okigbo said the first edition of its FinTech conference, tagged ''AFF Disrupt'' would bring together like-minded investors and partners to collaborate and join the AFF.

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