The Nigeria economy may be in a difficult period but with digitalisation as the core of every banking strategy, financial inclusion has been given room to grow. there are so many people in Nigeria that are outside banking system, this means that they can’t do without entering the banking hall to make transactions. For you to be part of organized society, financial inclusion is a must.”
Slowly but surely, financial inclusion in Africa is improving. In fact, the Central Bank of Nigeria predicts that, by 2020, the number of adult Nigerians with access to payment services will increase to around 70 percent. “It’s not as super fast as we would like it to be, but there are marked improvements, and this is steadily increasing”, 10 years ago, data on financial inclusion was hard to come by. Now we know just how much better we must do in order to expand access to financial services.”Access to savings, credit, insurance, and pensions is also growing rapidly. Encouraging as these projections are, we know that there’s a lot more to be done. This is why, at GTBank, we are keen to leverage digital technology to expand the reach of our products and services. Mobile has become very, very big and we have begun to see people doing a lot using their mobile phones.
Making banking more mobile
This readiness to embrace new technologies has helped a large proportion of the African population skip whole stages of traditional digital development altogether. Indeed, for many, a smartphone is their first computer. we know that the major reasons for financial exclusion include the lack of physical access to financial institutions, inadequate understanding of financial institutions and their products, general distrust in the system, and the affordability of products as a result of minimum opening balance requirements. Despite these hurdles, technology is helping forward-thinking institutions tackle such challenges head on, promoting financial inclusion to leap forward on the African continent.
The world is changing around us and the future of banking is digital. To protect our traditional business and maintain our social relevance, we are incorporating another model, which involves mobile phones, use of data, partnerships, and collaborations. Simply put, we are creating a platform to support our traditional business model by leveraging digital solutions.
GTBank’s Bank 737 provides banking services to millions of Nigerian mobile phone owners and does not require internet access to perform basic banking services. Anyone with a phone registered in Nigeria can open an account, transfer money, buy airtime or check their balance by dialing *737#. The convenience of Bank 737 lies in the fact that all of its services can be accessed through a customer’s mobile phone, at the dial of *737#. And because stable internet access is still not ubiquitous in Africa, Bank 737, being USSD-powered, sidesteps the need for an internet connection.
Through this service, which makes banking simpler, cheaper and faster, we continue to pull into the banking stream many of those who have long been excluded from the country’s financial framework.