Strategic collaboration crucial to delivering financial inclusion mandate –Mracajac –

Strategic collaboration crucial to delivering financial inclusion mandate –Mracajac

By Chinwendu Obienyi

Strategic collaboration among stakeholders remains pivotal to delivering the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s vision of financial inclusion and moving Nigeria from cash-based to cashless economy.

The Chief Executive Officer, 9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB), Branka Mracajac, made this known while addressing delegates and participants at the opening of the 22nd edition of the Digital PayExpo Conference and Exhibition, themed: DeFi Africa: Beyond Hype, Understanding Use Cases for the Continent.

Speaking on the topic, “Financial Inclusion and the Prospect for Banking the Unbanked,” Mracajac, noted that the foundation for economic growth of countries and for the prosperity of the citizens of any nation is to achieve an inclusive society when it comes to access to financial services and products while adding this can be achieved through digitization. She said, “Statistics show that Nigeria – with 63 per cent – has the largest informal sector in Africa and micro, small, medium enterprises account for the majority of this. While 80 per cent of Nigeria’s employment comes from this informal sector; still about 36 per cent (or 38 million) of Nigerian adults remain financially excluded. Much as this shows some improvements from the figures of 2018, it still leaves much to be covered to achieve the National Financial Inclusion Strategy targets.”

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Citing financial literacy and industry collaboration as fundamental factors to driving economic values and closing the inclusion gap, Mracajac noted that across the world, the most challenging countries to drive financial inclusion are countries where there is motivation to be included in the ecosystem.

According to her, there is a need to change the game for the needle to move in the drive to include every Nigerian financially.

“Strategic collaboration among stakeholders is pivotal to delivering the CBN’s vision for inclusion and moving the Nigerian economy from cash-based to cashless on and as much as we are a bank focusing on our social objective to close financial exclusion gap in Nigeria, driven by simple and accessible technology, we are also creating innovative solutions in order to offer banking to Fintechs and other players in the market who need the services to provide seamless customer experience,” the 9PSB CEO said.

Commending the contribution of the various industry stakeholders in driving value and impact in the payment service sector, Adeyinka Adeyemi, the Chief Executive Officer, Intermarc Consulting and convener of the Digital PayExpo, noted that the conference is an opportunity to assess the successes made so far by stakeholders in accelerating financial inclusion and project the future of the industry.

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