CBN Targets 80% Financial Inclusion by 2020

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(Last Updated On: 2016-11-07)

Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen

The Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN) has projected 80per cent financial inclusion by 2020 with various initiatives targeted at increasing access to financial services across the country.

CBN Director, Banking and Payment, Dipo Fatokun stated this at the weekend during the official launch of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) payment solution tagged, ‘mCash’.

According to him, part of such moves was the CBN’s collaborations with Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), telecoms companies (Telcos) as well as banks to further facilitate the cashless policy and give opportunity to more people to have access to financial services with nCash initiative.

The product which was officially unveiled at the weekend is already being implemented by some banks such as Wema, Zenith, Fidelity, Diamond and Unity banks.

The four major Global System for Mobile (GSM) operators, Airtel, MTN, Etisalat and Glo will have the banks riding on their network for the mCash project.

Fatokun, who was represented by Principal Manager at the CBN Joe Ogbogu said: “We endorse this because it would take our payment system to the next level. Nigeria is at the top pendulum of payment system in the whole world. And because of this, various countries come to understudy our payment system and this is one product I hope they would understudy in the near future.

“Another reason for this endorsement is that it is going to drive our financial inclusion. We have challenges of acceptance of Point of Sale (PoS) transactions because merchants don’t get instant value for their services but with this product, merchants get instant value which is a big plus.”

He added: “I am sure this product would drive financial inclusion to level the it is desired. We have projected that by 2020, Nigeria should be able to get inclusion level of 80 percent and I’m sure this is one of the initiatives that would drive that.”

Head Mobile Financial Services Etisalat, Seun Omotosho said: “We at Etisalat are excited about this solution and we have heard about what is happening in East Africa with Mpesa. We believe that mCash is going to rival this. We are going in the direction of payment because we believe it is what will drive financial inclusion. This solution is simple and addresses what customers need.”

Also, Managing Director/ Chief executive officer NIBSS, Ade Shonubi said the whole intention is to broaden the opportunity for people who today, use cash to find a convenient means of making payments.

According to him, “The CBN has been pushing the cashless initiative for a long time and we have seen significant gains but a lot of the people who have benefited so far have been the 27 million banking customers.”

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He said mCash remains an innovative solution designed to facilitate low-value retail payments, drive payments by providing accessible electronic channels to a wider range of users and to further grow financial inclusion in the country.

The technology, he added, leverages the mobile phone USSD technology which in recent times.


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