As part of efforts to aggressively accelerate financial inclusion in the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), commercial banks and mobile operators are currently working on modalities to take the Bank Verification Number (BVN) enrolment to the head offices of the 774 Local Government Areas
(LGAs) in the country.
This is expected to capture the large number of the unbanked population and encourage bring them into the financial system.
Also, over 70,000 new financial access points have been created in the country since the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF) was created.
A member of the Technical Committee on SANEF, Mr. Bolaji Lawal, who disclosed this in a presentation in Lagos yesterday, pointed out that at 33 million BVN enrolment presently, the group plan to achieve 70 million registration by 2020.
Furthermore, he said 10,000 remote BVN devices ordered by NIBSS are currently being deployed to banks, mobile money operators and the super agents.
“We are committed to enrol 40 million new unique BVNs between now and year 2020: 10 million in 2018, 15 million in 2019 and 15 million in 2020. NIBSS will pay agents N100 for every unique BVN enrolled,” he said.
Lawal also said nine operators currently party to project have been empowered with N4.5 billion.
In addition, he also revealed that three mobile money operators: Paga, Cellulant, eTranzact, had been engaged, while six super agents: Interswitch, Capricorn, Innovectives, Inlaks, Unified Payments and Xpress Payment, are part of the project.
He said a savings account product with an array of features (insurance, pension, micro credit) would be created to be a pull factor to attract the financially excluded into the system
“We are liaising with regulators (CBN, NAICOM) to secure approval and launch product by October 1, 2018. Other products planned include: micro retail loans; micro retail savings; retail insurance and micro pensions,” he added.
SANEF is a project powered by the CBN, banks, NIBSS, licenced mobile money operators and shared agents with the primary objective of accelerating financial inclusion in Nigeria.
The initiative involves on-boarding 40 million low income and unserved Nigerians into the financial system, increasing financial access points from the current 50,000 to 500,000 by 2020 and deepening access to mobile and digital financial products and services such as savings accounts, micro loans, insurance, pensions by Nigerians.
The project seeks to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria through an integrated ecosystem with strong regulatory oversight, consumer protection and interoperable payment systems with limited concentration risk.
It intends to create a platform for Nigerian owned financial services companies to grow, whilst empowering and creating jobs for Nigerians.
“So, wherever you see the SANEF sign, you can perform basic financial services such as account opening, cash deposits, cash withdrawals, funds transfers and bills payments,” he said.