‘Addressing Security Concerns Will Enhance Financial Inclusion’

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    Emma Okonji

    GRG Banking, a China-based high-tech company has said the Nigerian narrative on financial inclusion could be enhanced by 2020, if the security concerns in the country are addressed.

    Sales Manager, African Region, GRG Banking, Mr. George Kaloutas made the disclosure in Lagos recently, while announcing a partnership deal between GRG Banking and CWG Plc, designed to further deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria.

    According to him, Nigeria has the opportunity to further grow the financial inclusion strategy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), provided it addresses all security concerns limiting its growth across the country.

    He said the partnership would enable CWG address all security concerns limiting the acceleration of a cash-less economy through the deployment of Automated Teller Machine (ATM).

    Highlighting the challenges of financial inclusion in Nigeria, Kaloutas said the challenges were not peculiar to the Nigerian market, but a global concern that most developed countries of the world were already addressing.

    According to him, “There is a global trend where the digital world is trying to combine with the physical world. Banks are trying to come up with business models that combines the digital world like mobile banking and internet banking with the physical, such as the branches and the ATMs. “So, what you see in the market is a business model where the banks will want to increase their point of sales to enable them stay close to customers. These are the trends that we see in the market, which is all about convergence.

    “Developed markets are also facing such challenges and they are coming up with solutions to address them.

    “The added value that GRG Banking brings into the Nigerian market is about a special offering built for the Nigerian market.

    “We are bringing in robust equipment for massive ATM deployment across the country. Again, we are equipment manufacturer and we build equipment according to market specifications and this comes with a lot of flexibility to address regulatory issues in the financial inclusion ecosystem, Kaloutas said.

    Speaking on the partnership, the Vice President, Sales and Marketing at CWG Plc, Mr. Adewale Adeyipo, said although CWG had been at the forefront of driving the CBN financial inclusion strategy, the partnership would further help CWG to massively deploy robust ATM to rural communities as well as the unserved and underserved communities, a situation, he said, would help ease the burden of functionality, efficiency and accessibility of funds for the Nigerian populace.

    We have been able to deploy several ATMs across the country, that are dispensing between 16,000 and 17,000 transactions monthly in high traffic environment, without experiencing downtime, but the partnership will further help us to do more, and bring more people into the financial inclusion ecosystem, Adeyipo said.

    He said one of the greatest challenges facing the CBN was how to bridge the gap between the financially excluded Nigerians, which stood at 46 per cent in 2010, with the aim of reaching a 20 per cent reduction in 2020.

    But, he expressed worry that as at the last count, in 2018, the country had achieved only a five per cent reduction in eight years, which he said made it glaring that some support would be needed from financial experts.