The Nigerian fintech industry can leverage Artificial Technology to drive financial inclusion, increase efficiency, and improve consumer experience, ‘The Future of Fintech in Africa 2023,’ report has revealed.

The report, which was a collaborative work by Kora and Finextra, highlighted that AI was already being used for machine learning algorithms, customer behaviour analysis, demographics, and data to create more personalised experiences for consumers.

It noted that Nigeria already played a prominent role in AI fintech products on the continent as numerous Nigerian banks such as Zenith Bank, Fidelity Bank, First City Monument Bank, UBA Group, Access Bank, Heritage Bank, and Keystone Bank have leveraged chatbots.

Quoting a Data Scientists Network spokesperson, it said, “Chatbots are powered by AI and Natural Language Processing technologies that enable them to interpret and respond to customers’ queries in real-time.

“By leveraging AI, these chatbots provide customers with a faster and more convenient way to access banking services, such as checking account balances, making payments, and initiating transactions, without the need to visit a physical bank branch.”

With growing incidences of fraud in the financial service space, the report stated that AI could play a crucial role in the cybersecurity space, leading to a decline in fraud numbers.

It said, “Another example is Paystack, a Nigerian-based online payment gateway that offers businesses the ability to collect payments from customers on their websites or mobile apps. Paystack uses AI-powered fraud detection and prevention tools to protect against fraudulent transactions and ensure the security of users’ financial data.”

It further noted that for AI in Nigeria to continue to develop and streamline services, AI companies and regulators must cooperate to develop ethical, responsible, and sustainable technologies.

It added, “To feed into the growth, national governments must take a more hands-on role in AI regulation to keep up with AI innovation and national priorities need to be met before allowing foreign influence.”

Recently, the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, highlighted the country’s need for a national strategy to harness the power of AI for sustainable development.

He noted that it had become imperative for the country to have an Al Strategy that would steer its Al revolution toward achieving national goals around job creation, social inclusion, and sustainable development.

He announced plans to engage top Al researchers of Nigerian descent in the process of crafting that strategy.

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