Ecobank Nigeria in partnership with Vanguard Conferences and Economic Forum Series have announced that it is convening a Digital Financial inclusion Summit to drive, promote and deepen financial inclusion amongst the unbanked and underbanked population in Nigeria. Current statistics shows that 84.6 million Nigerians accounting for 47% of the population are unbanked, against mobile phone penetration which is up to 94.5%.
The Digital Financial Inclusion Summit slated for October 21st, will bring together trade groups and associations with large unbanked populations and individuals within the lower rung of the society who have not seen the need to be included in the financial sector or adopt financial services through digital platforms. This is a direct response to encourage the adoption of innovative payment solutions and digital banking services in the post covid-19 era.
Announcing the summit in Lagos, Head, Consumer Banking, Olukorede Demola-Adeniyi said the Digital Financial Inclusion Summit will be a platform to discuss the need for a comprehensive alignment of policy and regulatory frameworks among regulators like CBN, NCC, NITDA to support a sustainable digital financial inclusion growth, examine key issues and ways of advancing digital financial inclusion for women, youths and MSMEs and discuss the role of interoperability in mobile payment innovation. Further she mentioned that the role and impact of agency banking for financial inclusion growth will be x-rayed as well as the need for public and private sector investments in internet infrastructure and mobile connectivity growth in rural areas.
According to Demola-Adeniyi, the digitisation of payment and financial services has become an important economic development priority with the prospect of reaching far more people with a broad range of financial services they need, to fight poverty and build resilience. She noted that new data on mobile phone ownership and internet access show huge opportunities to drive digital financial Inclusion in Nigeria. She reiterated that this was in line with Ecobank’s vision which is to consolidate a modern pan-African bank and to contribute to the economic development and financial integration of the continent.
In her words “ there is no better time than now to harness the strength of our population, and support people to embrace the financial system. Financial inclusion for us at Ecobank means taking banking to the people wherever they are. Our agency banking, that is the Ecobank Xpress Points, for instance create a consumer experience which is very good, as the customers can do simple deposit, payment and transfers in their own neighbourhood rather than travel for hours to a bank branch. The aim of the Xpress Point is to let every Nigerian and household have access to Ecobank services within their neighborhood to provide easy banking services. This is the same objective for our mobile app and USSD platforms. We are desirous to put banking services at the finger tips of every citizen, no matter where they live”
Also speaking, Jude Ndu, Director Vanguard Conferences and The Economic Forum Series, says “as a follow up to the huge success of the Ecobank Agribusiness Summit, we are indeed pleased and delighted with the ongoing high level partnership with Ecobank Nigeria in the area of strategic thinking, conceptualisation and execution of high profile bespoke events. The upcoming Digital Financial Inclusion Virtual Summit speaks to the strong sense of confidence the bank has in us to help create content and context for the promotion and positioning of the brand given the strategic and thematic nature of conversation, marketing power and prowess of our thought leadership programs in critical stakeholder audience engagements across different industry sectors and customer segments”.
The Ecobank Digital Series is a virtual programme organised by Ecobank to educate and enlighten the public on crucial issues of public interest, especially as it relates to their financial freedom.