Mobile phone triggers fundamental shift in financial services – Experts

Mobile phones used to illustrate the story.

Mines Nigeria Ltd., a telecom, media and tech business company, on Tuesday, said that mobile phones had triggered a fundamental shift in financial services.

The Managing Director, Adia Sowho, disclosed this at the Digital PayExpo Conference and Exhibition in Lagos.

The Digital PayExpo Conference and Exhibition, which is on its 19th edition had the theme,” FINCLUSION: Aligning Expectations with the (Digital Financial Services) DFS Business Case”.

According to her, even with mobile phones significant impact, about two billion people that are making use of mobile phones lack access to credit facilities. She said this limits financial inclusion.

She, however, added that the infrastructure deficit that drives these issues exist all over the world and not pertaining to Nigeria alone.

“Lack of credit infrastructure affects lives in a profound way and so there is need to embrace technologies that will help push it forward.

“Another issue that needs to be addressed is the addressing system, which does not exist and so banks find it difficult to grant credit facilities to people they cannot locate.

“These issues if tackled will go a long way in ensuring that more people are financially included,” she said

Ms Sowho urged people to consider today’s problem with a different mindset as there was a need to embrace fintech to move the financial sector to the next level.

She added that the country had voluminous data but that we are not utilising it to create the much needed digital infrastructure.

She listed the obstacles attached to the data in the country as data sharing and privacy, cost structure, adopting s new risk and digital infrastructure.

Also, the Global Chief Executive Officer, PalmPay, United Kingdom, Greg Reeve, said that smartphones with mobile money would enhance financial inclusion in the country.

According to him, building a Pan-African financial ecosystem that is enabled with a smartphone will ensure financial services are relevant, reliable, accessible and affordable.

“The history of financial service innovation goes through four stages, banking, mobile money, the 3rd wave, which is learning from fintech and the regulatory approach.

“The innovations can be utilised in different ways by different people and so will provide services for customers at a time of need.

“Mobile money is a big step forward as it makes access and payment of money seamless,” he said.

He said that with the adoption of fintech things had differed as new products could be created and experience optimised for each user with data science.

He added that it would also lead to lower costs for business, which meant new types of customers could be served and there would be no more retail branches needed as banks would be in people’s pocket.

Mr Reeve said that FinTech challenges the status quo in the country as chatbots are used to manage finances, access to of other digital services in ones finance app like shopping, rides and others.

He said that it would enable loans to be issued in minutes and getting higher interest for ones savings with savings apps that are at the bank.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 2019 Digital PayExpo conference and exhibition seeks to answer the questions of whether financial inclusion was justified from a business perspective and whether there was a market in the unbanked market segments.


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