The Managing Director of Financial Institution Training Centre, (FITC), Mrs. Chizor Malize, has advised deposit banks and financial technology firms (fintechs) to learn from their previous mistakes in driving financial inclusion in the country.
Delivering her keynote at the third edition of Industry Summit/Awards formerly known as Industry evening summit with “Financial inclusion, digital payment and the challenges of banking the unbanked,” as them, she said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has led in the forefront of the drive for financial inclusion.
She said to drastically reduce those segments of the unbanked and under-served, there is a need for synergy and collaboration between the deposit banks, fintechs and financial regulators.
“Low cost of transactions, and greater expansion in reach and a reduction in the use of cash for business dealings will happen when synergy is achieved,” she added.
She identified collateral as another stumbling block in the campaign. “Another major hurdle is the request for collateral when giving out loans. Most low-income earners cannot afford collateral. Therefore, they opt out of going to deposit money bank. Instead, they prefer borrowing money from loan sharks who give them at very high interest,” she said.
Quoting Proshare Nigeria, she said there are over 200 fintechs currently operating in Nigeria. This translates into about $560million in investments between 2019 and 2021.
She said the rise of these companies can be attributed to the increase in penetration of smart devices and the increase in the use of digital channels and agents to reach the underserved an unbanked in rural areas, adding that, some of these fintechs have also personalised their services to make it easy for people to use their services including mailing of ATM cards to customers who open accounts online.
Convener of the forum and Editor-in-Chief of the Industry Newspapers, Goddie Ofose who welcomed everyone to the event said experts were invited to tackle on subject matter.
“We sincerely hope that, in the end, justice would be done. The missing puzzle would be found, issues around the growing unbanked population would be sorted.