Firm Proffers Solution to Digital Financial Services Gap

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Emma Okonji

A fintech company, Innovectives, has identified the wide gap that exists in Nigeria’s financial sector and at the same time is offering solution that will address the challenges.

In a recent survey carried out and concluded by the firm, in order to better understand the distinct peculiarities affecting consumption of organised financial services, the firm said it discovered that lack of fit-for-purpose and sustainable initiatives to stimulate the demand side of digital financial services, was the bane for the increased gap between the connected and unconnected people of the country.

While analysing its report, the Chief Executive of Innovectives, Emmanuel Agha, said: “The disproportionately higher number of financially excluded, economically active adults and non-existent access to credit to the productive segment of our society, were indicators that we had to raise our game.

“These gaps are not new but the scale and impact on the micro economy calls for intentional and systematic interventions.”

According to him, in 2018, his organisation participated in the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF), a project powered by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Bankers Committee and the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

“We opted to build an integrated shared agent banking platform that is financial institution agnostic because we believe a financial super highway would serve the interest of the customers and service the people better.

“In 2018, we were able to increase the number of FIs and NFIs connected to Kesh Express, our agency banking platform, from four to seventeen. Today, Kesh Express is connected to Zenith, GTBank, Access Bank, Stanbic IBTC, UBA, Ecobank and Cowries Microfinance Bank. Wema, Sterling and Jaiz Banks will be live in two weeks. We also connected to NIPOST IFS, Angaza, Masterpass, mVisa, Quickteller, NIBSS and Remita platforms.”

He, however, said the target for 2019 would be to achieve 100 per cent connection to all retail-focused deposit money banks, major micro-finance banks and international remittance platforms.

“We have been able to recruit over 25,000 agents across the 36 states, out of which over 10,000 agents are connected and actively carrying out financial transactions for customers on our platform. Our plan for 2019 is to speed up agents on-boarding process and therefore increase the number of activated agents from 10,000 to 50,000,” Agha said.