It has been able to get across the message of using advanced technology to get things done quickly and without hassles.
Financial inclusion has connected people and organizations passionate about promoting innovative solutions to those who do not have access to them.
Reflecting on the role of fintechs in Nigeria, Chief Communication Officer Itex Integrated Services Ltd, Adekunle Adebiyi said, fintechs work with stability and structure to ensure everyone is included in financial awareness.
According to Adebiyi, “distribution is crucial if we are to reach Nigerians without bank accounts. Rural areas, where more unbanked people reside, must become the focus instead of metropolitan and semi-urban areas.”
He added that we have made progress toward financial inclusion as a country. However, to meet our goal, we must use financial technology.
Background Story Before Fintechs
Before now, rural communities suffered as banks cut operational costs by reducing the number of ATMs and branches. This they did while trying to get more customers to embrace digital banking through smartphones. With this, the number of those without a formal bank account and limited smartphone access grew to about 40%.
This was a great issue as people struggle to communicate or dish out important or emergency funds to family, friends, and their kids in school.
Thankfully, PoS terminals and mobile money agents are increasing. By this, they provide financial services or act as an agent through which the unbanked can open accounts with just a passport photograph.
Nigeria, known as the largest economy in Nigeria, has its target to reach as least 80% of financial inclusion in 2020. It was able to reach 64%.
By the end of 2021, the number of financially excluded persons in Nigeria was estimated to be 38 million. Though the gap between banked and unbanked people has been closing since 2011.
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The Transiting Phase For Fintechs
Due to COVID -19, digital financial transactions increased by 325% to 704.04 trillion in 2020 from 165.8 trillion in 2019.
According to NIBSS data, as of August 2022, the volume of financial transactions in a month had reached a high stake, totaling 238.7 trillion. This is a huge plus for Nigeria.
Fintechs still need to do some work, as some areas are still unbanked and have no access to financial services.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has promised to reach 95% financial inclusion by 2040. With the innovations by fintech, an increase in mobile money operators, and the increase in financial inclusion rate, anything is achievable in the years to come.
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