By Dopamu Jojolola
Have you ever sat down to think about how useful money is? If you ever had thoughts along these lines, you more likely than not come to the conclusion that your money is indeed very important. We live in a world dictated by purchasing power. Basically, you are what you can afford.
But what if you were told that money wasn’t the only factor that dictated how we lived or how well we lived in the world we lived in? That is about right. Now, what if you were told that money is, in fact, a form of technology? That would be just about right. Very simply put, technology is seen in any tool that can help complete a task more easily. So, everything from the blender to a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine is considered tech. By the definition of making tasks easier, money—whether hard cash or virtual currency—is “technology” to a very reasonable extent.
How does this connection between the words “technology” and “money” affect you? You may ask. Well, in the technological landscape of today, everything, from health to entertainment is following the digital trail that modern technology is very firmly built on. Your beloved money is no exception. Today, money, and the practices concerning it are evolving—and fast.
According to restofworld.com, the total sum of money Nigerians transferred electronically in 2019 amounts to ₦105 trillion ($256 billion). Regardless of how these statistics line up with other modes of money transfer, the numbers are incredible, and the inevitability of the demand for both money and technology means that the numbers are on a steady course of growth. With the presence of ATM machines, as well as POS outlets and mobile applications created by the plethora of FinTech startups for the purpose of sending and receiving money, as well as saving and trading.
The demand for easy transactions has multiplied exponentially, and like it or not, you’re bound to this heavy chain of demand. Financial technology startups, better known as Fintech, are defined by Investopedia as new tech that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services. At the center of it all, Fintech is useful for companies, business owners, and consumers to better manage their financial operations, processes, and lives by making use of specialized software and code that are applicable to computers and, more than ever, mobile phones, especially smartphones.
There are many Fintech startups in Nigeria today. They include big names like Flutterwave, Paystack, Accelerex, PiggyVest, and Paga. Interswitch, E-tranzact, and their abundance are proof enough that the digital marriage between your money and your tech is here to stay. Fintech startups have been largely responsible for the astronomical numbers that electronic transfers have been seeing, and it’s no surprise that events like the 2020 acquisition of Paystack for $200 million by U.S. payments giant Stripe happened.
The sooner you understand that finance and technology are only going to become more intertwined, the more it should inspire you to look further into the world of Fintech and how it affects you, either as a major stakeholder or a minor one.