By Modupe Gbadeyanka
In order to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria, there is a need for all stakeholders within the financial ecosystem, including content creators, to urgently work collectively to develop and implement a digital content strategy for the unbanked to move the financial inclusion needle and ultimately advance the economy, society and improve the life of every Nigerian.
This was the submission of the Chief Executive Officer of 9PSB, Ms Branka Mracajac, at the Tech Summit Ogun 2022, which was held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library Abeokuta, Ogun State on Thursday, February 17, 2022.
During her presentation of a keynote address themed Content Creation and Financial Inclusion; The Future of Digital Banking, Ms Mracajac emphasized the need to pay close attention to content creation as an important factor in driving and accelerating financial inclusion in the country, stating that it was capable of enhancing the future of digital banking in the long-term.
According to her, while there are ongoing efforts to support the country’s financial inclusion drive, a lot more rest on formulating tailored strategies that address specific needs.
“Providing access to the banking agents and touchpoints, across the country is happening as we speak; payment service banks, microfinance banks, and FinTech companies are all working on this,” she said.
But will this be enough? Will the access to digital banks change the mindset of Nigerians in rural areas of the country and be enough to drive the transition from cash to a cashless society?” she questioned.
Proffering the way forward, Ms Mracajac stressed the need to provide financial literacy through content that speaks to an average Nigerian in unserved rural areas of the country, stating that financial inclusion is a process, not just a point in time and space that we want to reach.
She added that developing content that speaks only to the already banked and mirroring the digital financial habits of those who are fully included and heavily banked, will not help to keep the newly onboarded in the system long-term.
“While creating and delivering the content for financial inclusion, we need to have in mind the needs of its beneficiaries, the targeted end-users of the financial services who are currently underserved and the only sustainable way is that we join our forces and create the content – apps and services that will address the specific needs of a farmer in Benue, market women in Onitsha, the trader in Kano, the fisherman in Delta, and the woman selling ofada rice in Ogun State,” she stated.
Speaking further, Ms Mracajac noted that to drive the offline individuals and MSMEs from cash to cashless, from analogue to digital and from informal to formal, content creators need to focus on two major goals; one, to deliver relevant and on-point digital financial literacy content, educating people about the principles, ways, modules, and benefits of banking.
The second one, she stated, is needed for sustainable financial inclusion, delivery of digital banking services that are a reflection of the lifestyle of the currently unbanked and underserved population.
In his keynote address titled Disruptive Innovation: Production and Distribution of Creative Content, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, who was represented by the CEO of the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), Dr Abimbola Alale, remarked that the quality of creatives and start-ups that Nigeria has produced is a testament to the potential of the ecosystem, and as such the ministry will continue to support the tech and creative entrepreneurs to play their part in developing Nigeria’s digital economy.
The Tech Summit Ogun is an annual convergence of Tech disruptors, innovators, startups, organizations and technology enthusiasts in Ogun State, aimed at spurring technological innovation towards the digital transformation and technological advancement of Ogun State. This year, the summit attracted over 2000 participants, mainly the youths and start-ups.
Stanbic IBTC Bank Offers Clinics, Labs N1.5bn Interest-free Loans
By Dipo Olowookere
Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc has partnered with ISN Medical, a healthcare-focused company, to make procurement of medical diagnostic and healthcare products in Nigeria easier for practitioners.
ISN Medical is a leading supplier of medical diagnostic products and services in Nigeria, with over 40 years of operations.
Stanbic IBTC Bank, a subsidiary of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, as part of its efforts to further strengthen the system and give Nigerians access to quality and affordable healthcare, has created N1.5 billion interest-free loans to clinics, medical laboratories, diagnostic centres, and other healthcare providers for the procurement of medical diagnostic and healthcare products.
“We are happy to be part of this partnership. We believe that there are several benefits that both parties can derive from this collaboration.
“The loan facilities will go a long way in enabling healthcare providers to have access to up to N1.5 billion in medical equipment finance.
“We believe that our goal of enabling healthcare providers easy access to finance is achievable, especially through ISN Medical, a foremost supplier of medical diagnostic products and services in the country,” the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr Wole Adeniyi, said.
Business Post gathered that the N1.5 billion credit facility is part of the N10.2 billion provided by the lender to boost the country’s healthcare system in fulfilment of its corporate social investment initiative pillars in education, economic empowerment and health.
Recall that in 2021, the bank provided a N6.7 billion loan facility for the building of BAZE University Private Teaching Hospital in Abuja and then created a N2 billion special fund for healthcare providers to buy equipment and improve health care delivery.
Mr Adeniyi promised that Stanbic IBTC Bank would continue to engage in strategic partnerships that would be of great benefit to Nigerians seeking to access affordable and quality healthcare in addition to growing the health sector of the country.
Elendu Seeks Adoption of Blockchain for Dispute Resolution in Banks
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The co-founder and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Appzone, Mr Uche Elendu, has called for the adoption of blockchain technology for dispute resolution in banks.
According to him, financial institutions and their customers cannot do without having issues, especially with the increased rate of fraud in the financial system, but technology can be deployed to make the resolution process seamless.
Mr Elendu, while sharing his thoughts during his presentation at the Digital Pay Expo summit, submitted that blockchain technology will not only decentralise the process of moving money from one bank to the other but will help increase the level of visibility and transparency of the procedure.
At the two-day event sponsored by Appzone and put in place to discuss the possibility of accessing finance without a third party across the African continent through Decentralized Finance (DeFi), he said, “Financial institutions across the continent have continued to evolve, leveraging technology.”
“They have metamorphosed from the days of a heavy analogue process to a more digitized era, and with the continuous increase in the volume of banking transactions, it remains pertinent to continuously adopt newer and more sophisticated technology infrastructure to remain dependable, especially with payment settlements.
“For us at Appzone, we are firm believers in blockchain technology. Its decentralized nature not only makes it faster, cheaper, and transparent but also makes it sophisticated enough to enable real-time settlement,” he added.
Speaking further, Mr Ulendu said, “Having rolled out Zone, Africa’s first blockchain platform for payment processing in 2021, partner banks who have onboarded with us have seen a drastic change in their payment settlement process.
“Zone’s innovative architecture will reduce complaints from customers and provide banks with an opportunity to deliver delightful experiences on payment channels while also driving down costs.”
Developed in line with Appzone’s recent evolution into a payment infrastructure company, Zone is Africa’s first decentralized payment network that allows inter-bank transactions to be processed directly between banks on the Blockchain without the involvement of any intermediary.
With Zone, players in the industry should expect a reliable and scalable payment network that enables frictionless and instant payments, within and between every African country.
As more Nigerians get financially included, customers have continued to move away from cash and checks toward electronic payments.
This trend is a positive development for banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); however, as card and online transactions grow, so does the number of disputable transactions and the incidence of fraud, putting pressure on dispute processes.
Ecobank Offers Mouth-watering Cash Gifts in Super Rewards Season 3
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The third season of a loyalty reward programme for customers designed by Ecobank Nigeria Limited has commenced and for two months, 100 customers will win N50,000 monthly.
The customer-focused initiative called Super Rewards Campaign, according to a statement from the company, will run from June 20, 2022, to August 21, 2022.
It was disclosed that two customers will also go home with N1 million each at the end of the season, with participation open to both new and existing individual customers of the bank.
The Head of Consumer Banking at Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Korede Demola-Adeniyi, advised residents of Nigeria to “open an account with us or reactivate and fund your dormant account.”
“The Super Reward campaign, which was initiated by Ecobank in March 2021, is designed to promote a healthy savings culture amongst Nigerians and reward customers’ loyalty to the Ecobank brand.
“The success of season 1 and 2 campaigns followed by customers’ demand led to the introduction of Season 3. Both Seasons 1 and 2 have produced a total of 8 Millionaires and 1600 customers being rewarded N25,000 weekly in batches of fifty per week,”. she stated.
Speaking on the dynamics of the campaign, the Head of Consumer Products at Ecobank Nigeria, Ms Daberechi Effiong, said the conditions to qualify for the campaign are simple and easy to ensure both new and existing customers participate and get rewarded.
According to her, “New customers only need to open an account with a minimum of N5,000 while existing customers should make minimum deposits of N5,000. Customers with dormant accounts will also qualify when they reactivate and fund their accounts with a minimum of N5,000.”
“Rewards will be done monthly for the 2 months starting from July, 100 customers will be rewarded with N50,000 monthly. There will be two grand prize rewards of N1 million each at the end of the campaign,” Ms Effiong stated, enjoining those that are yet to open an account with the bank to do so to enjoy the benefits of the lender’s bouquet of products and services.
Ecobank Nigeria is a subsidiary of the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African banking group with operations in 33 African countries and an international presence in four locations (London, Paris, Beijing, and Dubai).
The financial institution is a major player in the distribution of financial services in Nigeria, leveraging digital platforms including Ecobank Mobile App and USSD *326#, Ecobank Online, Ecobank OmniPlus, Ecobank Omnilite, EcobankPay, Ecobank RapidTransfer, ATMs, POSs and an extensive distribution network of over 250 branches and over 50,000 agency banking locations.
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