When Desire Nindjin joined MTN Cote d’Ivoire in 2006 after a six-year stint at EY as Financial Auditor, the world of digital financial services was still in its infancy (M-Pesa first launched in Kenya a year later). Compared with traditional financial institutions, mobile network operators (MNOs) had better market penetration and more agility to adapt to the burgeoning digital landscape.
Desire joined as Senior Manager, Revenue Assurance & Fraud Management, and soon realized that digital financial services require a new set of skills and knowledge. “Back when I started at MTN, my colleagues and I had to learn as we went along. With Digital Frontiers Institute’s courses, we can now keep up to date with the latest trends and keep our knowledge fresh”, says Desire.
He points out that there are fundamental differences in how banks and telcos operate. While banks are possibly better equipped to manage risk and fraud, MNOs always put technology first, and they have an advantage in working with big data. In mobile money, companies often need to work together, which brings interesting challenges, as well as opportunities to learn from each other.
After completing his Certificate in Digital Money, Desire joined Digital Frontiers Institute’s community of practice in Abidjan, where Danielle Dote is the facilitator. “Danielle has really been instrumental in helping the community share knowledge across different industries. We are continuously sharing new information and we are excited to be on this journey together.” As he was recently promoted to the role of General Manager Risk & Compliance, Desire hopes to put this newfound resource to good use.
Desire also signed up for the Certified Digital Finance Practitioner program and hopes to be a certified DFS expert in a couple of years. The Certified Digital Finance Practitioner program is a newly established certiﬁcation built to support the emergence of a profession in the rapidly evolving digital financial services (DFS) industry. The 3-year deep-dive covers 22 digital finance courses, ranging from digital money and leading digital markets to the regulation of financial services, customers and uses of digital payments, technology and operational enablers.
“For us to really make a difference in financial inclusion, we need to be aware of what is happening in other markets. For example, how are mobile money operators in other African countries addressing the challenges of cross-border payments, or what can we learn from our Indian counterparts about digital identity? It’s also important to encourage and sensitize young students to learn the fundamentals of digital finance with DFI’s courses. This will allow them to better enter the 4th industrial revolution.
It’s only by sharing information and staying on this learning path that we can bring the solutions to our customers here in Cote d’Ivoire”, concludes Desire.