Banks, FinTech Compete for Sale of JAMB Form

Seye Joseph

With technology permeating all industries, few people are comfortable to use technology to achieve expected results, as others prefer traditional means of doing things that creates bottlenecks in the end.

Perhaps not what we envisage at this time, the way technology is creating innovations and inventions at the speed of light, most especially in financial technology.

Financial Technology (fintech) uses software and digital platforms to deliver financial services to consumers. The digital tools often disrupt established business models by creating new and efficient means of providing services.

Before technology over run the banking space, traditional ways of patronizing banking services were not only rigorous but created boundaries for bank customers not to know the essence of simple of banking.

In Nigeria, one of the major means of being admitted into higher institution of learning is through the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), a government agency that conducts matriculation examination for entry into universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education. In collaboration with the banks, JAMB forms are sold through the banks in a specific period.

In that age, students that want to write JAMB examination need to approach the bank and queue in order to obtain the form. For those who could not withstand the rigours of a long queue, would source alternative option of obtaining the form from private examination centres and agents. The agents fleece the students by inflating the price.

However, time has changed. Innovations and technology have simplified ways of doing things. JAMB as government agency has also gone through diverse and innovative ways in order to simplifying the processes of conducting the examination without hitch.

As examination candidates continue to increase annually, the choice of simplifying process of obtaining the form is a major hurdle that the examination body needs to overcome.

According to the JAMB Registrar, Ishaq Oloyede, 1.7 million candidates would write the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) while over 1,561,443 candidates wrote the UTME in 2016.

“We are expecting 1.7 million candidates to sit for JAMB this year and we want to make sure we satisfy them within a week or thereabout,’’ he said.

As the fintech continues to disrupt banking operations, fintech companies in Nigeria have also seen reasons and shown interest in the sales of JAMB forms via technological innovations, which was originally the function of the banks.

What this means is that fintech companies have eaten into the profits that should have gone to the banks alone. Parts of the services fintech companies now share with the banks are utility payment, tax payment, phone recharge, loan disbursement etc.

Fintech companies that have shown interest in the sales of JAMB form are SystemSpecs  owner of Remita, and Interswitch operator of Quickteller.

Remita is an electronic platform that helps SMEs, corporate organisations, multinationals, state governments, government agencies, NGOs, religious organizations, resident associations, schools and educational institutions etc and individuals receive and make payment easily.

The Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] has adopted Remita for the payment and collections of funds on behalf of the Federal Government. All 22 commercial banks and over 400 micro finance banks are on this platform. It has significantly assisted the country to revolutionize the e-payment industry.

On other hand, Quickteller is an online payment platform that where all forms of transactions can be done. It has various services where customers can buy recharge card, make payment for any transaction, pay utility bill, buy ticket to watch movies, book hotels etc.