Browsing: Financial Inclusion

  • USSD is used extensively across Africa to enable mobile banking and mobile payments
  • The African market generally uses USSD for various activities like transferring money, balancing cheques, doing top-ups, and buying data bundles
  • USSD is available to feature phones and smartphones, allowing it to reach a broader audience compared to mobile apps

In just a decade, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) has expanded from a niche offering in a handful of markets to a mainstream financial service, moving millions of households in Africa from the cash economy into a more inclusive digital economy.

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) technology has played an instrumental part in Africa’s digital transformation. It is a smart move for any business to capture newer and unexplored markets, but it needs more disruption.

According to World Economic Forum, Africa needs long-term growth that benefits all Africans. That requires nothing less than an economic transformation. Sustainable and …

Nigeria’s Access Bank and the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) have signed a commitment letter for a $280 million financing to assist in tackling the gap in financing for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

  • The financial resource remains particularly significant in an ecosystem needing greater economic diversification.
  • The $280 million loan will prove beneficial to at least 4,000 new SMEs in Nigeria.
  • Access Bank Plc was conferred with the MSECB Management System Certificate in line with the management system requirements in ISO 37301:2021.

Nigeria’s Access Bank and the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) have signed a commitment letter for a $280 million financing to assist in tackling the gap in financing for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

In a statement issued, the US Embassy observed that the DFC CEO, Scott Nathan and Access Bank Managing Director, Roosevelt Ogbonna, signed the commitment in Lagos on Monday25 July.…

  • In Nigeria, where an estimated 38 million people, or 36% of adults, remain financially excluded, the government has set a target of 95% financial inclusion by 2024
  • Interswitch secured US$110 million joint investment from LeapFrog Investments and Tana Africa Capital
  • The firm can be termed as the backbone of Nigeria’s online banking system and is well-known for its point-of-sale terminals, online consumer payment platforms, Quickteller, and Verve

Accelerating financial inclusion across Africa is increasingly on the agenda of most if not all countries across the continent. 

This has seen the creation of a lot of fintech firms working relentlessly to bring the unbanked and underbanked populations into the formal financial sector. 

In Nigeria, where an estimated 38 million people, or 36% of adults, remain financially excluded, the government has set a target of 95% financial inclusion by 2024. 

While this may seem like an ambitious goal, that will require institutions

  • African governments are moving to ease requirements for digital financial services
  • Limited digital finance infrastructure funding is still a hurdle
  • Women, rural populations benefit most from the digitization of financial services in Africa

African nations are now investing in digitizing their financial systems as the basis to among other things, increase financial inclusion.

By digitizing financial systems, the continent will be able to overcome the related costs of physical engagements and that way save more money and increase sector reach especially to rural areas.

“Widespread adoption of digital payments including international and domestic remittances, can be instrumental in reaching the financial inclusion goals of the G20,” notes the World Bank.

Read: Why digitization is important in the insurance industry 

In that report titled ‘The opportunities of digitizing payments: How digitization of payments, transfers, and remittances contributes to the G20 goals of broad-based economic growth, financial inclusion, and women’s economic empowerment,’ …

  • Financial inclusion efforts across the industry have genuinely transformed millions of lives
  • Traditional financial institutions have typically been less nimble and slower to adapt resources to meet ‘last mile’ customers.
  • 4G Capital augments technology with human resources and tackle the root cause to business and finance failures 

Microfinance has been hailed as a critical cog in Africa’s development.

The continent, whose population is projected to almost double by 2050, is fertile ground for those seeking to bridge the financing gap.

Banking systems have locked out a majority of Africa’s populations from the sector whose effects can now be felt as neo-banks and other financial institutions crop up across the continent.

Read: Shift from the dollar with Pan-African Payment System launch

As of 2020, Africa had an estimated 1.34 billion people with Nigeria, Ethiopia and Egypt being the most populous countries at the time. By 2050, these numbers will almost be …

Technological advancements and their convergence with just about every sphere of human existence have launched what appears on the face of it to be a spirited assault on financial services in general and the banking sector specifically.

This has been the trend worldwide and Zimbabwe is no exception. 

The growth and advent of technological convergence with financial services has ironically resulted, whether by design or by coincidence, in financial disintermediation. This simply means that financial services as an industry is no longer the preserve of banks and related institutions. We are starting to see the emergence of non-bank and non-financial companies offering financial services. In the case of Zimbabwe, the leading mobile telecoms company operates a mobile money transfer division that has more clients on its books than do all the commercial banks in the country. 

The financial services space is being disrupted by new entrants that are nimble and

Africa’s Cashless Payment Revolution, According to World Bank data, more than two-thirds of Africa’s population has no access to the formal banking system. This is largely the direct result of challenges such as underdevelopment, financial illiteracy as well as a predominantly rural based population. 

These factors among others have led to a situation where banking is both inaccessible and overly expensive for the bulk of the population. Further, African economies are driven by an informally oriented economic climate; as a result, banking for many is not an option. 

This situation has prompted innovative approaches to avail financial services. Among the disruptions in financial services, there has been a rise of fintech to cater for payments outside of the banking system. Some of these include mobile money payment solutions and online payment/receipt platforms. 

Fintech Start Ups Attracting Investment 

This sector has become one of Africa’s fastest-growing in the digital

Financial inclusion in Africa

Last month, Mastercard announced a partnership with Samsung, Airtel Africa and Asante Financial Services Group to launch a Pay-on-Demand payments platform and drive the digital economy across Africa.

By enabling digital access to everyday products and services for under-served consumers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the continent could experience positive economic growth covering even the poorest which has been elusive for decades.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) notes that the launch and growth of digital financial services has led to an unprecedented increase in the number of people enjoying access to formal financial services.

Read: Tanzania shines for financial inclusion in Africa

Today, Africa has more digital financial services deployments than any other region in the world, with almost half of the nearly 700 million individual users worldwide.

Mobile money solutions and agent banking remain the most preferred since they now offer affordable, instant, …

Just before the onset of Covid-19, banks in many parts of Africa were pushing for adoption of online-based financial solutions but with little pressure. Then came Covid-19 and changed how people access their finances; this has created an urgency of sorts to promote financial inclusion.

Some governments are currently providing incentives to pay for goods or services digitally, through mobile money or e-wallets. For example, Uganda has cut mobile money transfer fees; Egypt, Liberia, and Myanmar have increased transaction size limits, while authorities in Bangladesh, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, and Zambia have taken both sets of measures (cutting mobile transfer fees and raising transaction size limits) in response to the pandemic.

When Kenya reported its first case of Covid-19, the Central Bank of Kenya called a consultative meeting with Bank CEOs and immediately passed ways of ensuring that the country adopts use

Africa’s financial inclusion journey has grown in leaps and bounds since 2011 the level of inclusivity in Sub-Saharan Africa was just over 23 per cent.

As of 2018, the World Bank Global Financial Inclusion Database showed that in 2017, 42.6 per cent of all adults in the region had an account with a banking or financial institution. This growth was largely driven by digital financial services where according to Findex, mobile money accounts almost doubled to 21 per cent while the share of adults with a financial institution account barely budged.

In comparison to other regions of the world, mobile money use was lower than 10 per cent.

Read: Banks in Africa hasten use of technology for financial inclusion

And this growth is continually attracting investments in the region to reach the financially excluded populations.

Standard Chartered Bank and Airtel Africa have announced a strategic collaboration to drive financial inclusion …