Analysis: Payment Service Banks: A Game-Changer for Financial Inclusion in Nigeria
Financial inclusion at its core, speaks to ease of access to a range of financial products; particularly when designed to meet the needs of lower-income groups. In a rather simplistic description, financial inclusion aims to provide financial services to those who are not customers of traditional financial institutions. The services provided will normally include but are not limited to accessing payment platforms, savings accounts, credit, insurance, investment, and pension products.
Stakeholders in the financial industry, especially the Central Banks of Nigeria (“CBN”), have had financial inclusion on the front burner over the last two decades. The CBN nevertheless continues to struggle to meet its targeted objective despite a booming Fintech landscape with three unicorns, the most in Sub-Saharan Africa. The CBN has had to readjust its target goal, setting itself a goal to achieve 95% financial inclusion by 2024. The previous targets had never been met, partly because the CBN appeared to focus its attention on the already banked population, rather than the unbanked in rural and underserved areas.
Photo credit: Ketut Subiyanto