Mobile Loans to Enhance Financial Inclusion in Nigeria

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Dec 2015
Nigeria, December, 31 2015 - Participants at this year's Committee of e-Banking Heads (CeBIH) conference, have expressed their strong view that e-business sector will witness more financial inclusion and advancement in the coming years, driven chiefly by the concept of mobile loans.

The conference with the theme 'Mobile Payments for Financial Inclusion' was held in Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom State recently.

At the event, new prospects and perspectives were brought to light regarding the concept of e-banking and financial inclusion as well as future possibilities and trends that are currently in the incubation process.

Central among the ideas exchanged was the concept of the 'Mobile loans' model that focuses on savings and loans and is carried out solely via mobile devices. While facilitating a technical session, General Manager, New Business Ventures, Commercial Bank of Africa, Kenya, Eric Muriuki Njagi, discussed Kenya's evolution towards a digital financial ecosystem. The facilitator used the 'M-Shwari', and 'M-Pawa' models, two mobile-centric banking solutions that offer both savings and loan products, with the objective of availing simple and affordable financial services closer to the customers, thereby supporting the financial inclusion agenda in Kenya, Tanzania and the wider East Africa.

He stated that both products have been hugely accepted in the East Africa market, and if replicated in Nigeria, would be the most likely way of breaking into Nigeria's large unbanked market.

In explaining the thought behind mobile loans, the Chairman, CeBIH, Tunde Kuponiyi said the association decided to take a second look at mobile because of the need to create a new market in terms of inclusion.

He said: "The SME sector is one that's not that much developed. So maybe it is savings and loans through the use of mobile that will actually enhance the inclusion we've been thinking about, that will also enhance and move the mobile platform in the direction that we want it."

Another high point of the conference was the presentation of Interswitch Financial Inclusions Services (IFIS), a brainchild of Interswitch, by its Divisional CEO, Mike Ogbalu.

According to Ogbalu, IFIS is a platform created for the sole purpose of bringing banking services within the reach of Nigeria's considerable unbanked population estimated at 56 million, via a good agent network.

With IFIS, he stated, the agent is at the centre of the company's technology and that they understood that the would-be agents required a compelling value proposition.

"Therefore we will first seek to empower the agent with knowledge, skills and tools to deliver financial services in a very unique way, stating that for IFIS, the long term perspective of our business model seeks to create value first, and thereafter comes the profit," he said.

He said: "The SME sector is one that's not that much developed. So maybe it is savings and loans through the use of mobile that will actually enhance the inclusion we've been thinking about, that will also enhance and move the mobile platform in the direction that we want it."

Another high point of the conference was the presentation of Interswitch Financial Inclusions Services (IFIS), a brainchild of Interswitch, by its Divisional CEO, Mike Ogbalu.

According to Ogbalu, IFIS is a platform created for the sole purpose of bringing banking services within the reach of Nigeria's considerable unbanked population estimated at 56 million, via a good agent network.

With IFIS, he stated, the agent is at the centre of the company's technology and that they understood that the would-be agents required a compelling value proposition.

"Therefore we will first seek to empower the agent with knowledge, skills and tools to deliver financial services in a very unique way, stating that for IFIS, the long term perspective of our business model seeks to create value first, and thereafter comes the profit," he said.



Source : allAfrica
 

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