3 November 2017

Nigeria: Fintechs Urged to Enhance Financial Inclusion

Photo: Chippla
Naira notes.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged financial technology (fintech) companies to come up with more solutions that would bring more people into the banking system.

The Principal Manager, Banking and Payment System Department, CBN, Mr. Olubukola Akinwunmi, made this call at the KPMG Digital Summit in Lagos, which had in attendance all the major players in the banking, fintech and digital system.

Akinwunmi said: "The CBN's vision on Fintech is somehow encapsulated in the Payment System Vision 2020 of the Bank. We have laid it out that we want to enable access to finance.

"There are about 66 million unserved and another 28 million Nigerians underserved. Those are the people we want to see fintech bring into the financial services space."

He added: "If you look at what we have been doing in the last 10 years, our role has been to open up the financial services space for fintechs to come in after the FSS Vision 2020 that was released in 2007. We identified areas where fintechs can play and subsequent to that, in 2009 we had a mobile payments regulatory framework which actually invited non-banks to come in and play."

"Our vision has always been to ensure that Nigerians especially the unserved at the moment are enabled by innovative service providers within the financial space not necessarily the banks.

"Of course, we know the importance of ensuring collaboration between these new players and the traditional players."

Speaking at the event, the founder of a major fintech company, Flutterwave, Mr. Iyinoluwa Aboyeji said: "If we are really serious about financial deepening, we need to leverage regulatory to reduce the cost of serving underbanked customers.

"If you do that, more fintechs would be comfortable to serve customers and they can do more speedily."

On his part, the Partner, Financial Services Technology KPMG, Mr. Boye Ademola while speaking on the need to enhance alternative financing said: "It is important to stress that if this market is going to experience exponential or significant growth and transformation from a financial services perspective, there are a few things the regulators need to look at one of it is alternative financing.

"Alternative financing is something that can affect not only in retail but because we are an SME-based economy, the sort of financing that is going to get the economy growing."

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