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Valentine Obi of eTranzact Speaks on how big data affects payments at the Mobile Web West Africa 2015

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Big data is a buzzword in a myriad of industries, but the customer-centric model of financial services firms gives data unprecedented opportunities to further market research, boost customer satisfaction and drive financial inclusion.

Speaking at the Mobile Web West Africa 2015, Mr Valentine Obi, CEO of eTranzact talked about the strides that have been made in payments in Nigeria, from the time where data collection was a very difficult task, to 2015, a period that is seeing an increased focus on data collection from regulators and organizations, an example being the recently instituted “Bank Verification Number (BVN)”

He said; “One big prerequisite for financial inclusion and in fraud control for financial institutions is a check called “Know your Customer (KYC)”. It is one of the biggest challenges we face in the payments industry, and all players can come together to help solve this issue.

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peaking specifically to MTN and Airtel who were represented at the event, he said “The Telcos own a lot of user data and can help the payments platforms by sharing this data.  There is a big need for the Telcos to share data in order to safeguard and protect customers from fraud just like banks share data with the switching platforms.”

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Also speaking about his personal expectations with the evolution of mobile in West Africa, he said;

In year 2000, I bought a cell phone for N156,000 and, rather than being a device for communication, it was a device to show status symbol. From 2001, we began to see the revolution that has led to the development of cheaper smartphones and content for users, and this is just the beginning.

Nigerian users are migrating to smart phones from feature phones every day, we see this every day in our data at eTranzact. I believe that a lot of $20, $30 smartphones will continue to flood the market to make the transition from feature phones faster.

 There will be heavy cost reduction in value of internet, mobile products and services in West Africa. There will be faster and better connectivity between payment systems in Africa, Europe and the rest of the World and, in the coming months, eTranzact will be able to announce something big along these lines.

The most important thing that we are seeing is the migration from mobile evolution to mobile revolution and we will continue to do all we can to lead this drive”.

 Other speakers on the panel included James Mcnab, Managing Director Africa and Chief Communications Officer, Basebone, Emmanouil Revmatas, Director of Information Technology and Mobile, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Tayo Egunjobi, Senior Enteprise Marketing Manager, MTN, Toyosi Akerele, Founder and CEO, Rise Network and Mr Okechukwu Igwegbe, Head, New Products Development, Airtel Nigeria. The session was moderated by Uzodinma Iweala, CEO and Editor-In-Chief, Ventures Africa.

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