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Firm urges financial institutions on data security

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Flourish, a venture capitalist firm has charged financial institutions to deepen data security and offer tailor-made products for inclusion, and economic empowerment.

Adding that technology has reduced the cost of providing personalised services, the firm said customer’s trust must be well guarded.

Chief Executive Officer of Flourish, Arjuna Costa, said in Lagos recently that financial wellness was all about inclusion but a deeper level of holistic customer engagement.

Costa said: “Before now, banks knew your life, children, life’s aspirations and then design products that suit that purpose. But since banking became institutional, it has lost that connection. Banks need the ability to engage holistically with their customers by thinking about their needs and products that could meet those needs.

“If we can design products and services with the users in mind, and build a technology that matches that, then customers experience would be unique”.

He urged regulating bodies to collaborate and support themselves. This, according to him, would increase shared knowledge and help tackle similar challenges.

Adding that the firm was concerned with deepening financial inclusion, Costa said: “We are a global firm. We invest across the U.S., Latin America, Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. We have a portfolio that’s deployed $200 million so far; $300 million is committed to us, to continue to invest, both in our existing companies, as they need capital and new companies, as we find them.

“We want to back the most innovative, mission-driven entrepreneurs, who are solving the problems we care about. So far, we have made three direct investments in Nigeria. Going back to 2012, our first investment was in a company called PAGA, then Flutterwave and most recently, Lidya.”

He added that the firms they have invested in so far are tackling different parts of the overall puzzle around financial inclusion and Flourish is constantly on the lookout to support new companies.

He, however, said entrepreneurs today are dynamic and have great creative minds that increase disruption in different business spaces.

“So when you put together inspiring ideas, talented people, capital, support, there will a lot of impacts. There are various funds tackling issues in education or health. We are focused on enabling economic opportunity and financial health.

“We have also played our part in increasing financial inclusion using technology. People have a very complex relationship with money, but with technology, we can customise even a savings account to suit the customers’ needs,” Costa added.


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