Identity Management, Payment Service Bank Key to Scaling Financial Inclusion in Nigeria


Wednesday, November 07, 2018 7.00Am / Ottoabasi Abasiekong of  WebTV


Stakeholders at the 2018 EFINA Nigeria conference on financial inclusion, agreed that an effective identity management system and the utilization of the payment service bank recently rolled out by the Central Bank of Nigeria, will go a long way in scaling financial inclusion in the country.


Panelists at the session which discussed “How Can Financial Inclusion be Used as an Enabler of Inclusive Economic Growth and Prosperity” identified the following as catalysts to reducing the financially excluded index in Nigeria;

  • Financial Literacy as a way of giving orientation to the children, youth and women on financial inclusion
  • Improving the agent network to expand financial access points in the country
  • Deploying Biometrics through the BVN to reach out to the unbanked population in the country
  • Expand Digital financial services through the payment service banks, that will integrate the telecoms firms, FMCGs amongst others into the ecosystem
  • The need to Invest in an effective Identity management system, that can give Nigeria scale in its financial inclusion.


The Chairman of EFINA Nigeria in his welcome address informed stakeholders that its three year strategy (2019-2021), will focus on targeting the youth, women and Northern Nigeria that constitute the majority of the financially excluded population in the country. 

Furthermore in other to encourage the Fintechs to come up with innovative solutions for financial inclusion, the EFINA Chairman said a Challenge Fund has been established. 

Representative of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and Deputy Director, Development Finance of the Central Bank of Nigeria Mr Osita Nwasinobi acknowledged the slow pace of growth in financial inclusion, despite the 2020 plan that was rolled out in 2012. 

Nwasinobi shared that the plan has been revised to focus on five key areas namely;

  • Expanding the Digital Financial Services in the country, to accommodate more stakeholders in the ecosystem like the “Payment Service Bank”.
  • Providing a conducive market environment for market players that seek to increase financial access to the unbanked
  • Supporting the growth of “Shared Agent Networks” across the country.
  • Address KYC hurdles
  • Adopt Cashless payment channels across the country.


Looking at the Indian example presented by Anup Singh of Microsave, the Asian nation made progress in its Financial Inclusion, through the following pillars;

  • Universal access to banking
  • Basic bank account with over draft facility
  • Credit guarantee fund
  • Micro-insurance
  • Micro-pension scheme
  • Financial literacy program


Anup noted that with a clear vision and strategy in place, India was able to scale through the hurdles. 

The event featured two additional panel sessions that discussed “How Nigeria can Reposition its Financial Incusion Priorities” and “Opportunities for Innovation for Financial Inclusion in Nigeria:Technology, Markets, Consumers”.

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