NIGERIA:Payment system stakeholders seek simple tech for financial inclusion
Experts in the nation’s payment industry have advocated the deployment of simple technologies to guarantee that the success of the financial inclusion drive.According to them, the processes must be such that align with the realities of the target audience, who are mainly at the bottom of the pyramid.
This was one of the recommendations made by delegates at the just concluded 3rd edition of the PoS Innovation Summit held in Lagos.The summit, with the theme: “Deepening Financial Inclusion Through Agency Banking”, was powered by Global Accelerex Limited, a CBN-licensed Payment Terminal Service Provider (PTSP).
The even also had in attendance representatives from the Central Bank of Nigeria, commercial and microfinance banks, other PTSPs, and licensed Mobile Money Operators.The Keynote Speaker and Chief Operating Officer, Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), MarketMoni, BoI, Uzoma Nwagba, revealed that GEEP’s N140 billion micro credit scheme, is focused on the segments of the society with greatest difficulty accessing credit like traders, artisans and farmers.
The scheme would lead to their full integration into the financial system and alleviate challenges of the financially vulnerable.He added that critical to the programme is the use of agents that are responsible for the day-to-day engagement of beneficiaries.
While presenting the Facts Behind the Figures, the Executive Director, Business Development, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), Niyi Ajao, disclosed that PoS transactions have recorded significant growth between 2012, when the cash-less policy was introduced by the apex bank and 2017, when the industry recorded over 146 million deals.He further stressed the need to ensure that other parts of the country are included in the financial system through the building of a strong network of agents that will take financial services to the nooks and crannies of the country as 68% of the transactions took place in Lagos alone.
The Head of the Financial Inclusion Secretariat at the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Temitope Akin-Fadeyi, reiterated the commitment of the bank to ensuring the inclusion of 80% adults by the year 2020.The Managing Director of Global Accelerex, Tunde Ogungbade, expressed optimism about the delivery of innovative products and services to the last mile through Agency Banking, and the inclusion of the under-banked in the financial ecosystem, no matter the location.
Members of the panel of discussion and representatives of organisations such as cooperative societies and the Association of Mobile Money Agents in Nigeria (AMMAN) affirmed that PoS terminals remain one of the best channels that can be used to provide seamless financial services to the underserved populace.Practitioners were also encouraged to focus on collaboration in order to provide robust platforms that will serve as one-stop-financial-shops for the users.
Also, to increase awareness programmes to sensitise the populace on the availability and advantages of simple banking options like agency banking that will lead to more participation and greater financial inclusion.