Payment Innovations and Trends – CeBIH 2021 Annual Retreat

The Annual retreat of the Committee of E-Business Industry Heads (CeBIH) was held at Abeokuta on Dec 2nd and 3rd, 2021. Sponsored by Flutterwave, the Banks, and many other fintech companies, the Retreat focused on Payment innovations and the trends to expect in the coming year with participants coming from all sectors of e-business processes. The chairman of the committee Adeyemi Atanda welcomed all participants and expressed gladness to be able to gather physically for the retreat following the restrictions of last year due to the pandemic which prevented the retreat from holding. In his words, there are many challenges that plague the ebusiness industry which include infrastructure, connectivity, and cost which hinders inclusion but that it can only get better as more collaborations are brokered and platforms are such as CeBIH continue to create forums for engagement. 

Amongst the guests that graced the occasion was the Deputy Governor of Ogun State H.E Engr Noimot Salako-Oyedele who in her address called on the industry to find ways to support social intervention programs and look at how to differentiate between social enterprise programs and social intervention programs so that these programs are not too expensive for the government to sustain for the good of the people. Prof Adeolu Akande, Chairman Nigerian Communications Commission in his address expressed that the extensive demand for digital services is driven by the affordability of end-user devices. He also expressed that with the current trend, it is envisaged that the digital sector will overtake the oil sector in contributing to the GDP earnings of the nation in about 5 years. 

The Keynote Address delivered by Mr. Elias Igbinakenzua, Managing Director of Globus bank

Ltd focused on the perspectives of digitization and recommendation for banks. “Banks of the future must embrace API strategy and platforms that will make them agile, invest in dev-ops, and can’t run away from cloud computing,” said Mr. Igbinakenzua. He also challenged the banks to start thinking about collaborations and partnerships for the good of the customers. 

Mr Musa Jimoh, Director. Payment Systems Management, Central Bank of Nigeria shared more on the role of the eNaira on the growth of the economy. He expressed in his address that the focus of the enaira is to bring down the cost to serve, considering the expense incurred in printing one note of our naira and its resultant effect on the value chain. ‘It is a big source of

 pride for us to say that Nigeria is the first African country to implement and one of three nations to fully commercialize the eNaira” said Mr. Jimoh. In his closing remarks, he assured the bank of their role in driving the digital payment systems and encouraged the participants to download the app via the Google or ios app store. He reiterated that the goal is to bring an increase in financial inclusion and bring access to cheaper financial services.
Other speakers and panelists who spoke at the 2-day deliberations included Branka Mracajac, Managing Director of 9PSB; Olusola Teniola, president Africa Digital Economy Forum & IPP, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON); Kazeem Tewogbade, MD Blue Chip Technologies; Ade Atobatele, CEO Remarkable Ideas Ltd, Akeem Lawal DCEO Payment Switching & Processing, Interswitch, and many others.  Topics deliberated on included Cardless payments, Fintech and Funding, Fraud and Cybersecurity, Monetizing Big Data as well as Mobility of Labour.

The participants ended the retreat on a remarkable note with the words of Ade Adekola, CEO of Remarkable Ideas Limited that there is a need for us to look at the mobility of labor across the African continent in order to promote innovation and expand reach and accessibility. A visit to the General Olusegun Obasanjo Library, Abeokuta eased the days of deliberation into a more relaxing atmosphere of networking and camaraderie.

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