Boosting Fintech and deepening financial inclusion is the new way of curbing cyber activities. The main goal of this country is to eliminate poverty and boost prosperity through financial inclusion. In other to achieve this, there is the need to create policies that would establish an enabling environment for the Financial Technology (Fintech) to thrive in.
Financial Inclusion Conference, (Efina 2019) held by financial experts in Lagos, submitted that for innovation to thrive, the government’s action should facilitate innovation by fostering a supportive environment, through the use of regulatory measures.
These financial experts also stated that boosting FinTech and deepening financial inclusion and market efficiency would bring along cybersecurity and reduce data protection concerns. With these, they need to leverage on Fintech innovations from banks to manage risks relating to new technologies and cyber-attacks.
The Bankers Committee, at the end of its 2019 yearly retreat, in Ogere, Ogun State, also resolved to further strengthen individual and industry capability against cyber-attacks that arises with the use of Fintech products in the system.
The Godwin Emefiele-led bankers stated that:
“Cyber risk is growing in different parts of the world today and is calling for the banks, and the government, to do something about it.
“Although the banks have been advised to do more in their management and control of cyber risks and also advised to invest money in soft or hardware tools that will help them manage cyber risks in their operational environment.
“As for CBN, we have all along been issuing different guidelines and frameworks on how the banks can combat cyber-attack and how the industry and how the country can combat the incidence of cyberattacks, which in any case, will continue.
“But we just need to prepare so that when they strike, we would be able to withstand the shock and able to discover it early enough for the banks not to lose money or for depositors funds not to be lost,” he said.
He also stated that the apex bank is looking at investing in the security operations center, which will act as a gateway, not only for banks, adding:
“Unfortunately, we are all naked today as a result of the Internet and cyber and we all have to do everything to protect ourselves,” he added.
He disclosed plans to migrate phone users who are yet to be included in the financial system to a new initiative called “BVN Lite.”
“With the collaboration of NCC, we are putting this BVN arrangement to allow them conduct minimal financial services. It should be possible for us to migrate this people into the arrangement, where they can conduct minimal financial services, not just banking services, like insurance.
“In fact, anything you want to conduct in terms of finance, like e-payment, you can do it with the aid of your phone.
“Now as you bring them into the financial system, it will help to increase our rate of financial inclusion and reduce exclusion rate,” he added.
The Chairman of Financial Services Innovators (FSI), Co-Founder of Andela, Iyin Aboyeji, also said that creating a working environment for the best ideas to thrive in and also the right regulatory framework, would help deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria.
“Like what is obtainable in India and China, having an interface with the regulators, innovators can come into the sandbox, test ideas and everybody would be present to make input on what should be encouraged and what should be jettisoned.”
Furthermore, he pointed out that active collaboration from stakeholders is germane to deepening financial inclusion.
“There must be concerted efforts to move capital into the exercise. We must build a banking system that is digitally focused. We must also keep the customers safe and make the financial space free from fraud.”
The Director, Payment Systems Management Department of CBN, Samuel Okojere said efforts to deepen financial inclusion may not be achievable if-then confidence of the people in the areas of financial services is eroded.
“We have to provide safety and confidence for the users. CBN is increasingly creating enabling environment by making licenses easy to enable more players.
“We need to encourage competition, innovation and high regulation. We need to focus on areas we need to tidy up in form of regulation and focus more on areas we can collaborate.”