According to Efina’s Financial Inclusion Report, only 2% of adults in Nigeria are insured, meaning that millions of Nigerians are not managing their risks despite the attendant problems that can arise if things don’t go as planned.
Hedging your risk as a business person is essential to the sustainability of your business. MyCover.ai, one of our sponsors of The Fintech Summit, is dedicated to facilitating access to insurance products through its offerings.
While preparing for the summit, we spoke with the co-founder of MyCover.ai, where he talked about what they are doing on MyCover.ai and his expectations from the Fintech summit.
Let’s get acquainted – what is your name and what do you do on Mycover.ai?
My name is Adebovale Banjo and I am the co-founder and CEO of MyCover.ai. First and foremost, I am responsible for planning the day-to-day operations of the business for growth and providing direction for everyone.
Can we find out more about MyCover.ai and what it offers?
MyCover.ai is an insurance platform. We are primarily focused on building a digital insurance infrastructure in Africa. When you look at the challenges facing the insurance sector not only in Nigeria but throughout the continent, you can sort them into three main categories. So there’s underwriting, product development and then distribution, which is basically about access to these products. Then there is the claims management side.
We provide an infrastructure that simplifies underwriting and product development, and provides data to the underwriter to make better decisions and create better products that help them. Our insurance API allows people, i.e. insurance companies, in this case, to distribute their products faster and cheaper and makes them more accessible to the end user.
The third step is to streamline the claims handling process, eliminate fraud, reduce processing time, and provide good customer service. That’s what we’re doing with our API, and that’s why we say we’re building a digital insurance framework for the continent. This infrastructure is expected to provide services at these three major locations and facilitate the spread of insurance across the continent.
You should see us more as the engine that is here to drive insurance growth across the continent. We also have a B2B platform targeting small businesses, startups and midsize businesses.
The platform provides a one-stop solution for businesses when it comes to insurance needs, in terms of purchasing health insurance for staff, laptop and device insurance, and creating travel or asset insurance for those in the logistics industry, as well as for their operations.
So we have two proposals. One of them is related to the API, when we destroy the entire infrastructure that provides insurance. The other is a B2B platform where businesses can insure themselves, their employees and their operations. This platform is called myCovergenius.com. Interestingly, we are still in beta and we are launching it before the event.
We will also provide special discounts to business owners who visit The Fintech so they can test the platform and take advantage of these benefits.
To shed more light on what our API is currently doing in terms of distribution. We do what you call built-in insurance, just like you have built-in finance. We enable almost everyone to offer insurance products to their audience.
So imagine that most fintech companies today can use our API to offer insurance to their audience. Money transfer people can also provide their customers with the option to buy insurance for their people at home or for themselves using our API. We are looking at e-commerce platforms to offer gadget insurance to our customers using our API. So, it’s built-in insurance, and it makes insurance available to everyone on the continent.
What got you excited about the Fintech Summit?
We are very excited because this is an opportunity to meet many fintech players that we can partner with so that they can then have insurance built into their platforms. They can offer it to their clients. They already have traction as many clients use their platforms every day and the opportunity we could offer insurance as a service to these clients is attractive to us.
Secondly, we are going to actively participate in the conversation. Talking about what has worked so far regarding fintech in Nigeria and Africa and what the next frontier is in terms of where we go from here and how we get there. Much has been done in terms of payments; cross-border payments are growing every day and local payments are doing well, but where are we in terms of credit? While there are many BNPL solutions and all, what is the cost of funds? These are the conversations, I think, that will take place at this conference. However, first of all, this is an opportunity for us to attract key players in the fintech space and show them what you consider a great opportunity, not only for them and us, but for the continent as a whole.
What pain points do you think need to be addressed in the African fintech sector?
I think the first thing is insurance. This is how people build payments, whether it be local payments, cross-border payments, or agent banking.
We are working on payouts and we have made some progress on that. We do now, buy now, pay later, but not much has been done with insurance.
That’s why it’s a great opportunity for us as a company to not only make insurance available to people through our B2B platform, but also to partner with fintech companies to provide broader coverage than even what we can achieve on our own. Thus, it is necessary to consider the role of insurance in the growth of fintech on the continent. So you have agents who have an uninsured POS, agents who don’t have life or health insurance. Omnibiz and similar players make it easy for traders to access commodities, but these traders need insurance to purchase. If a fire breaks out in their markets, they are exposed and all the goods they spent money on are lost. Thus, there is a large exposure to risk, especially in business in Nigeria. Actively doing business without protecting your risk is not the wisest decision.
Secondly, I talked about the growth of BNPL asset finance companies. But there is still a problem with the cost of funds. So we need to talk about how to make access to credit cheaper for people and the infrastructure that supports that right; there is a credit bureau, but no credit ratings. Then when you talk about non-banking banking, I think that pretty much, with the exception of a few players who really dug deep, many times, people verbally acknowledge it. You will go to some places and find that the penetration is high no doubt, but still there are places where much more can be done. So banking for those who don’t or don’t have bank accounts is another conversation worth hearing.
What impact do you expect from the conversations that will take place at the Fintech Summit?
I think that when you look at the natural development of things like this, first of all, you have the opportunity to be in a room with leaders in their fields, and they are all under the umbrella of fintech. You’ll hear them talk about what they’ve been able to do, the challenges they face, and the next steps in terms of what they intend to do and the next issues they want to address. These conversations are usually stimulating and I expect them to create a roadmap.
Moreover, it depends on what Techpoint Africa decides to do after the events whether you want to articulate all these thoughts in a roadmap for the future of fintech.
Second, I see a lot of collaboration between different players; between technology companies, insurance and fintech companies. The third thing I see is an ongoing conversation with regulators.
This is because usually when you look at the problems and your problems in life and come up with solutions for them, you realize that there are so many elements to make them work and one of the key pillars in this is the government.
So I expect there will be ongoing government involvement. These conversations mimic a clear path to the next fintech milestones in the country and on the continent.
MyCover.ai will be participating in the fintech summit and they are offering business owners who attend the summit a big discount to use their B2B platform, MyCoverGenius.
Register for the summit on The Fintech Summit website to access this opportunity.