Financial Inclusion key to Poverty Reduction - 9PSB CEO

9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB), Nigeria’s digital payment service bank, focused on financial inclusion, has re-emphasized that financial inclusion is the key enabler to poverty reduction and economic prosperity in Africa at the Regtech Africa Conference held recently in Lagos.

The event themed: Harnessing Partnerships for Africa’s Prosperity – Bridging the Data Trust Gap, is a convergence of financial experts and thought leaders in the digital financial service industry across Africa, aimed at sharing knowledge and proffering strategies to increase data trust in the last mile digital financial service delivery.

Financial Inclusion Key Facilitator to Poverty Reduction and Economic Prosperity - 9PSB CEO
L-R: Managing Director, Regtech Africa, Cyril Okoroigwe; National President, Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN), Fasasi Sarafadeen Atanda; Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, 9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB), Branka Mracajac; Head of Strategy and Business Integration, Rand Mutual (RMA), Johannesburg, South Africa, Chuma Qwalela; Managing Director, Palmpay, Chika Reginald Nwosu and Director, Partnership Regtech Africa, Graham – Olusanmi Lawal at the 2024 Regtech Africa Conference and Awards held recently at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Delivering a keynote presentation, the Managing Director, and Chief Executive Officer, 9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB), Branka Mracajac stated that financial inclusion remains a key focus in Nigeria and in Africa. It plays significant role in reducing poverty and fostering prosperity of the people. Achieving the desired results requires conscious effort by players in the industry to make financial products and services available, accessible, and affordable for all unbanked and underserved individuals and businesses, regardless of their age, gender, geographical region, and social economic status. It also aims at empowering people with knowledge through financial literacy programmes and providing them with tools such as savings account and other payment options to participate in formal financial systems.

“A survey conducted in Nigeria in 2008 by EFinA revealed that about 53 per cent of adult were excluded from financial services, furthermore, financial inclusion as a vehicle for economic development have notable positive impact in Nigeria, it decreased the exclusion rate from the initial 53 per cent of about 40 million of adults to 36 per cent which today means about 29 million of adult Nigerians. 59 per cent of households in Nigeria are income providers, while most of the income providers are women, unfortunately, they are the ones that are mostly excluded from formal financial services, since Nigeria has about 26 per cent of adult Nigerians that are financially excluded, the target for this year as mandated by the Central Bank of Nigeria is to attain 25 per cent inclusion figure,” Mracajac added.

‘As we strive to grow financial inclusion, lack of access to financial services, low financial literacy among the populace, prohibitive cost of financial services and lack of trust in financial institutions are standing as roadblocks. Therefore, stakeholders and various industry players should begin to adopt localization of financial literacy and education, reduce minimal cost of accessibility for the people, simplified products, and processes. She remarked.

The 2024 RegTech Africa Conference had a line-up of stellar speakers, case studies, panel discussions, engaging discussions, unique presentations providing access to a wealth of industry-leading knowledge, sharing best practices and experiences, spotlighting trends, information exchange, cutting-edge insights, and outlooks with actionable takeaways.

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