The need to bridge the gap in the country's digital inclusion was the focus of the 2018 Digital Pay Expo, that was recently organised by Intermarc Consulting in Lagos with Diamond Bank as the platinum sponsor.
Speaking at the forum, which was attended by executive directors from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank, Mr. Uzoma Dozie, who was represented by the Executive Director, Business Development, Chizoma Okoli, highlighted the importance of identifying the key requirements of the unbanked and unserved market segment as this will enable financial institutions to develop and create products targeted at meeting those needs.
She stated that the bank was already thinking along these lines and listed some of the steps Diamond Bank has taken to ensure that financial services are available to all.
According to Okoli, "Part of our activities in this space include the development of products such as the BETA and CLOSA accounts.
"BETA targets market traders and also supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The BETA account employs agents (called BETA friends) who go to the areas of comfort of these market traders and offer them all the financial services they need without impacting on their way of life, whilst the CLOSA account was created for those without banks in their areas.
"People of influence in the community were selected to act as agents of the bank to ensure trust and those in the community were assured that the bank would assume responsibility for their money once it was deposited with the agents."
Themed: "Innovative Financial Services for the Vast Unserved Segments," the conference was designed as an inclusive series addressing different segments of digital financial services with focus on how such services can leverage on technology to bring access to the markets at the bottom of the pyramid.
Speaking on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Head, Competition and Tariffs at NCC, Mr. Bashiru Idris, noted that the commission had been in the forefront of promoting financial inclusion through the provision of proper information technology infrastructure.