According to a financial inclusion According to Efina’s report, only 2% of Nigerian adults are insured, which means that millions of Nigerians are not managing their risks despite the problems that may arise if things do not go as planned.
Covering your risks as a businessman is important for the sustainability of your business. MyCover.ai, one of our Fintech Summit sponsors, is on a mission to facilitate access to insurance products through its offerings.
While preparing for the summit, we had a chat with the co-founder of MyCover.ai, where he discussed what they do at MyCover.ai and his expectations for the Fintech Summit.
Let’s meet – what’s your name and what do you do at Mycover.ai?
My name is Adebowale Banjo and I am co-founder and CEO of MyCover.ai. Primarily, I am responsible for envisioning the day-to-day operations of the business for growth and providing direction to everyone.
Can we learn more about MyCover.ai and its offers?
MyCover.ai is an insurtech platform. We are primarily focused on building the digital insurance infrastructure in Africa. When you look at the challenges plaguing the insurance industry, not just in Nigeria but across the continent, you can classify them into three main categories. So there’s underwriting, product development, and then distribution, which is mainly about access to those products. Then there is the complaints management aspect.
We provide the infrastructure that simplifies underwriting and product design and provides data to the underwriter to make better decisions and create better products that help them. Our Insurance API enables people, i.e. insurance companies in this case, to distribute their products faster and more cost-effectively and make them more accessible to the end user.
The third step is to streamline the claims process, eliminate fraud, reduce turnaround times and provide a good customer experience. So that’s what we’re doing with our API, and that’s why we say we’re building the digital insurance framework for the continent. This infrastructure should provide service on these three main points and facilitate the growth of insurance penetration across the continent.
You should see us more as the engine that is there to propel the growth of insurance across the continent. We also have a B2B platform focused on small businesses, startups and medium-sized businesses.
The platform provides a one-stop-shop for businesses for insurance needs, in terms of purchasing staff health insurance, insuring laptops and devices, or setting up insurance travel or asset insurance for those in the logistics industry and their operations.
So those are the two offers we have. One is the API, where we’re disrupting all the infrastructure that powers insurance. The other is a B2B platform where companies can insure themselves, their staff and their operations. This platform is called myCovergenius.com. Interestingly, we are still in beta and launching it before the event.
We would also give specific discounts to business owners who frequent The Fintech so they can test out the platform and take advantage of these benefits.
To better understand what our API currently does in terms of distribution. We do what you call integrated insurance, just like you have integrated financing. We allow almost anyone to offer insurance products to their audience.
So imagine that most fintech companies today can leverage our API to provide insurance to their audience. Remittance senders can also give their customers the option to purchase insurance for their loved ones or for themselves using our API. We look at e-commerce platforms, able to offer gadget insurance to their customers by leveraging our API. It is therefore an integrated insurance, and it makes insurance accessible to everyone across the continent.
What makes you excited about the Fintech Summit?
We are excited because this is an opportunity to meet many players in the fintech space with whom we can collaborate so that they can then have insurance integrated into their platforms. They can offer it to their customers. They are already successful, as many customers use their platforms every day, and the opportunity to offer insurance as a service to these customers appeals to us.
Second, we will actively participate in the conversation. The conversation around what has worked so far regarding fintech in Nigeria and Africa and what is the next frontier in terms of where we are going from here and how we will get there. A lot has been done in terms of payments; cross-border payments are increasing every day, and local payments are doing well, but where are we on credit? Although there are many BNPL solutions and all this, what is the cost of funds? I think those are the conversations that will take place at this conference. Still, this is primarily an opportunity for us to engage key players in the fintech space and expose to them what you see as a great opportunity, not just for them and for us, but for the continent as a whole.
What issues do you see need to be addressed in the fintech sector in Africa?
I think the first would be insurance. So people are building for payments, whether it’s local payments, cross-border payments, or agency banking.
We’re working on payments, and we’ve made progress on that. We do now, buy now, pay later, but not so much has been done with insurance.
That’s why it’s a great opportunity for us as a company to not only be able to make insurance accessible to people through our B2B platform, but also to collaborate with fintech companies to ensure the reach is wider than what we can do on our own. Thus, the role of insurance in the growth of fintech across the continent needs to be addressed. So you have agents who have outlets that are uninsured, agents who don’t have life insurance or health insurance. Omnibiz and players like them make it easier for merchants to access commodities, but those merchants need shopping insurance. If there is a fire in their markets, they are exposed and all the goods they bought with money are gone. So there is a lot of risk exposure, especially in doing business in Nigeria. Doing business actively without protecting your risks is not a wise decision.
Second, I talked about the growth of BNPL asset finance companies. But there is always a challenge with the cost of funds. So we have to have this conversation about how to make it cheaper for people to access credit, and then there’s also the infrastructure that supports that right; there is a credit bureau, but no credit score. Then when you talk about unbanking, I think to a large extent, except for a few players who have really dug deep, a lot of times people fake it. You go to certain places and you will find that, without a doubt, the penetration is high, but there are still places where much more can be done. So banking the unbanked or underbanked is another conversation to hear as well.
What impact do you expect from the conversations that will be held at the Fintech Summit?
I think when you look at the natural progression of things like this, one, you have the opportunity to be put in a room with leaders in their respective fields, all under the fintech umbrella. You’ll hear them talk about what they’ve been able to do, the challenges they’re facing, and the next steps in terms of what they’re planning to do and the next problems they’re looking to solve. These conversations are usually stimulating and I expect them to produce a roadmap.
Also, it depends on what Techpoint Africa decides to do after the events, if you want to articulate all of these thoughts into a roadmap for the future of fintech.
Secondly, I see a lot of collaboration between the different actors; between technology companies, insurtech companies and fintech companies. The third thing I see is an ongoing conversation with regulators.
This is because usually when you look at problems and your life issues and come up with solutions to them, you realize that there are so many elements to making it work and a key pillar is the government.
So I expect continued government engagement to happen. These conversations simulate a clear path to the next steps for fintech in the country and on the continent.
MyCover.ai will be exhibiting at the fintech summit, and they are offering business owners who attend the summit a significant discount to use their B2B platform, MyCoverGenius.
Register to attend the Summit on The Fintech Summit website to access this opportunity.
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