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Financial technology innovations in Nigeria has being on a high side in the last few years as more firms and financial institutions in the cities and cities beyond the shores of Nigerian border leverage on technology in providing financial services.
With the population of Nigeria estimated at 193 million, 162 million mobile users, internet penetration rate at 84%, about 104.6 million users as of August 2018 and the financial exclusion rate standing at 41.61%, Financial technology ("FINTECH") intensifies in Nigeria by the day.

Financial inclusion, basically, means where majority of the people and businesses in a community, state or nation have access to financial products and services without discrimination. This could be as simple as having a bank saving deposit account or as advance as paying for goods/services with your ATM cards. Wikipedia defines it as “where individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products or services that meet their needs that are delivered in a responsible and sustainable way”.

In Nigeria the discussion of artificial intelligence inclusion in Financial technology is rated among tech enthusiast and experts in the finance industry. However, within the Nigeria financial service, artificial intelligence proliferation is still very much in its first phase, but on a trend upward. Artificial intelligence has been launched in Nigeria by traditional banks in Nigeria. A number of them are the AI-powered digital assistant like the Stanbic IBTC Bluebots designed and deployed to reduce human or mutual intervention, eliminate errors and reduce cost of processing in the bank reconciliation statement, Access bank's Tamara, UBA's Leo and FCMB's Temi just to mention a few. FINTECH startup such as facilitate financial transactions on chat platform like Facebook, Messenger, slack and telegram. uses AI technology in mining high volume data like phone records, bank records, payment records and payment transaction in real time to instantly access credit risk. FINTECH company like is making giant stride in the technological space. Federal government also expressed its interest in the Key International Telecom Union (ITU) Mandate on AI ecosystem. It is of no surprise that the Nigerian Stock Exchange recently launched the X-Bot, an ai powered chat-bot that respond directly and automatically to enquires  through Facebook messenger. The opportunities for an application to financial sector is huge and significant growth is expected in few years to come.

Financial technology is no doubt a smart way to integrate the financial system for rendering smooth, convenient and fast services. Albeit, a number of factors limit the end users of Fintech innovation in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan African at large. They include: level of IT illiteracy, cost of data, lack of network reception in remote areas, lack of people's confidence in machines, company's attitudes to customers and many more.

Many Nigerians, even the seemingly educated ones find it hard to operate a computer successfully without assistance from someone. Strange right? but that is the truth. I have witnessed countless cases that undergraduates struggled hard to launch an app on a computer system. Funny isn't it? We cannot fail to mention the repulsive act of professionals to leverage on utility softwares to improve their rate of productivity. With this high rate of computer illiteracy, one would expect that the rate of Information technology illiteracy would even be more.

Telecoms Company, Airtel Nigeria lauched a campaign recently tagged “data is life” in an effort to reposition its flagship data value offering, SmartSpeedo. An deep observation of the initiative show that the telecom company ignore the point that “data requires a cost”. Data is needed to access the internet and to utilitise Fintech services. Sadly, the rate at which service providers deduct data lately is unwelcoming. Second to this is the transaction cost charged by financial institutions for financial services done via a third party. This has a way of detaching local retailers and uneducated folks who will rather keep their money at home,make purchases at roadside shops/stores or engage in a community thrift contributions and many more from the Fintech ecosystem.

Furthermore, another problem that beset the Fintech industry in Nigeria is the issue of poor network reception in most areas of the country. Earlier this year Globacom Limited network reception was poor in most part of Lagos. This constituted a bane to smooth financial service delivery to users of this network and leave the user no choice than to seek other ways to penetrate their finances. Needless to say that this occured in cosmopolitan city,you can imagine the receptive rate in rural areas.

As much as Fintech equipments helps to make life easy,there is a downside to it usage. Machines,cards and apps are not free from glitches and other technical challenges that hinders the process of delivering financial services. However,this could decimate the confidence of the people in the financial system. Also,technicalities may arise in the process of using a machine or other fintech equipments,but representatives of financial institutions do not handle some of this issues promptly and professionally.

A number of things could be done to stem the tide. The government can implement a balanced growth sector strategy that encourage growth in sectors of the economy altogether. Also Fintech companies should not only educate users on financial literacy, but also introduce IT literacy and extend them to remote areas.

Lastly, the government can reduce the cost of data for the masses by reducing the toll -fee Nigeria communication commission (NCC) charge to service providers for operating in Nigeria. Over the years the network service providers spend much of their profits creating good mast for network and infrastructures for good network reception. Meanwhile, In developed countries this role is for the government while service provider focus their energy, resources and manpower on satisfying users of their networks. This is why we can have 26 megabytes per second network speed in the United kingdom (UK). Moreso, service provider cum Fintech partnership agreements should be encouraged to aid flexible service for the people. This will encourage users and attract more patronage for Fintech packages. a good examples is the GTB *737# flexible banking system. Financial institutions should checkmate excessive transaction charges, put strict actions in place to caution hostile customer representatives and build a formidable customer service system that is efficient, reliable and user-friendly.

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