Connect with us

E-Financial

IFC, Mastercard Foundation Extend Financial Inclusion for Millions in Africa

Published

on

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, together with the Mastercard Foundation, released a new report documenting the transformation underway in financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The findings are based on lessons learned from joint projects that have resulted in access to new digital financial services for more than seven million users on the continent over the past six years.

Digital Access: The Future of Financial Inclusion highlights the phenomenal success of digital financial services in Sub-Saharan Africa and outlines the challenges still to be tackled to reach universal financial access.

It captures the experience and knowledge gained by IFC and the Mastercard Foundation in supporting the growth of digital finance in Africa under the joint Partnership for Financial Inclusion since 2012.

Working together with 14 microfinance institutions, banks, mobile network operators, and payments service providers across the continent, the joint initiative has resulted in 7.2 million new digital financial services users (a 250 percent increase from the baseline), 45,000 new banking agents, and $300 million in monthly transactions.

“Financial inclusion is one of Africa’s great success stories of this decade. Mobile money solutions and agent banking now offer affordable, instant, and reliable transactions, savings, credit, and even insurance opportunities in rural villages and urban neighborhoods where no bank had ever established a branch,” noted IFC’s Chief Executive Officer Philippe Le Houerou and Mastercard Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Reeta Roy in a joint foreword to the new report.

Financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa has increased dramatically over the past decade, from 23 percent in 2011 to 43 percent in 2017, according to recently released data from the World Bank Findex survey. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region where the share of adults with a mobile money account exceeds 10 percent.

“The Partnership for Financial Inclusion has been an important actor in helping to drive financial inclusion in Africa,” said Ruth Dueck-Mbeba, Senior Program Manager at the Mastercard Foundation.

“We’re proud of the work that our partner, IFC, has led over the past six years. It has enabled millions of people to benefit from access to financial services. More than that, the knowledge that we’ve gained will lead to millions more people improving their lives and their communities by being able to join the formal financial services sector.”

There is an emerging body of evidence on the impact that digital financial inclusion can have on inclusive economic growth and development. A study in the report shows that smallholder cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire who saved regularly were better able to feed their families than those who did not save, irrespective of the farmers’ annual income.

The same study also revealed that many smallholder cocoa farmers felt ‘socially excluded’ by traditional banks but were generally accepting of agent banking and digital services.

Mamie Kalonda, Chief Executive Officer of FINCA in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the client institutions of the Partnership for Financial Inclusion, said, “In the DRC, I expect digital financial services will grow even faster in the next five years. Almost all banks are going mobile.” She added,

“It is important to reach the rural areas, because that is where people are poor.”

In the DRC, the use of mobile money services had reached 16 percent in 2017, helping to push the overall financial inclusion rate from 3.7 percent to 26 percent in the same period.

Riadh Naouar, Head of IFC’s Financial Institutions Group Advisory in Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “Looking ahead, we can see some interesting trends for the future. While East Africa has long been the star performer in terms of the evolution of digital financial services, West Africa is the new growth market. Not only in terms of reach, but also for innovation.”

“There is a need in the broader industry across the continent to shift to the next generation of digital products,” he added. “A broader, more multi-faceted market is asking for more sophisticated and relevant products beyond person-to-person payments.

There are evident opportunities to develop digital banking, savings and credit products, as well as the digitization of value chain financing and merchant payments.”

The report noted some of the challenges that will have to be addressed to continue progress in financial inclusion.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Comments

E-Financial

Fidelity Bank MD Not On The Run – Bank

Published

on

Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo

Fidelity Bank Plc has said that Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, its managing director/CEO, has not jumped bail, clarifying that he was on a sick leave.

 

The bank in a statement expressed shock at the online media report, stressing that it was a “responsible corporate citizen and staff members, including the MD/CEO, conduct their operations in line with the laws of the Federation”.

 

The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to recent online media re¬ports that Fidelity Bank MD/CEO has jumped bail. The reports are completely untrue and the facts of the matter are hereby presented as follows;

 

“The MD/CEO has been away on medical leave, which was duly approved by the Board, since December 4, 2018.

 

“The Bank informed the CBN Governor of this development as the MD/CEO was unable to attend the annual Bankers Committee retreat held between December 8 & 9, 2018, on ac¬count of this. An Executive Director represented the bank.

 

“The Bank received a letter from the EFCC about 48 hours ago, requesting for the attention of the MD/CEO.

 

The Bank responded to the EFCC immediately that the MD/CEO was on medical vacation and gave an indicative date that he will report to the Commission.

 

“The Bank also attached the following documents to the response; the leave approval by the Board Chair¬man and the letter sent to the CBN Governor on the inability of the MD/CEO to attend the Bankers Committee retreat”.

The bank continued: “We are therefore shocked by the misleading reports in the online media and have provided the above clarifications to set the records straight.

 

“Fidelity Bank is a responsible corporate citizen and staff members, including the MD/CEO, conduct their operations in line with the laws of the Federation”, it concluded.

 

Continue Reading

E-Financial

CBN says TSA Transactions Value Hit N13.53trn in 2017

Published

on

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the migration of the Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) has led to positive growth in the value and volume of transactions recorded in end to end payments in 2017.

The bank made the assertion in the 2017 Annual Activity Report released by its Banking and Payments System Department on its Website.

It also attributed the growth to the rise in the number of MDAs accounts migrated to the TSA.

The CBN said that the value of transactions recorded at the period reviewed stood at N13.53 trillion from the N10.65 trillion in 2016, representing an increase of 27.01 per cent.

The apex bank also said that volume of transaction grew with an increase of 3.84 per cent to record 39.7 million in 2017 as against the 38.24 million recorded in 2016.

According to the CBN, the payment instructions comprises recurrent, overhead and capital expenditure.

On the TSA implementation, the bank added that during the year, stakeholders’ engagements took place to improve the operations and address some of the challenges facing it.

“In order to engender healthy competition and ensure effective service delivery, the Federal Government’s TSA payment gateway model was modified to accommodate other service providers.

“The aggregator model was developed to bring in more players into the e-collection process, thereby providing a level playing ground for all the Payments Service Providers (PSPs), with NIBSS as the aggregator.

“The initiative was driven by the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) as the implementing agency, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria,” it said.

Continue Reading

E-Financial

Nigeria’s OneFi Secures First Ever Credit Rating for an African Fintech

Published

on

One Finance Limited (OneFi) announces that is has been assigned a “BB” rating with a Stable outlook, from Global Credit Rating Co. The company behind Paylater, Nigeria’s leading digital financial services platform that specialises in consumer lending, becomes Africa’s first fintech company to secure such a rating, as it looks to increase transparency around its credit and lending service.

Global Credit Rating Co. is Africa’s leading ratings agency, accounting for the majority of all ratings accorded on the African continent.

The report analysed key financial and operational factors including risk management, liquidity positioning, borrowings and capital under management. In arriving at this rating of “BB” with a Stable outlook, Global Credit Rating Co’s analysis found that OneFi is well capitalised vis-a-vis its current risk level, and also highlighted the fact that the company currently has a low liquidity risk.

Commenting on the news, Chijioke Dozie, OneFi CEO says, “The entire process of securing this rating from Global Credit Rating has been rigorous, testing, but ultimately, hugely beneficial for the company.

It has allowed us to scrutinise our finance and business models, as well as provide full transparency not only to our stakeholders, but to Paylater’s tens of thousands of customers across Nigeria.

“The work does not stop here. We are a young company, and the very first African fintech platform to be awarded with a credit score, and whilst we are pleased with our “BB” rating and Stable Outlook, which we believe fairly reflects our current standing, we are now focussed on expanding our product offering, improving our asset quality, driving up customer loan applications and looking at ways in which we can bring our innovative approach to finance management to additional markets”.

Paylater, launched in 2016 by Nigerian finance entrepreneurs Chijioke and Ngozi Dozie, provides hassle-free loans without need for human intervention or bias in decision making.

Loans are disbursed to applicants account within 5 minutes of approval. The credit-as-a-service company aims to be a one-stop-shop where all the financial needs of the Nigerian consumer can be met through one platform.

To-date, the Paylater app has been downloaded over 1 million times with over 1,575 loans approved daily. The average disbursement time is 12 seconds and the average loan borrowed is $80 with a 3 month loan tenor.

As part of its ongoing commitment to transparency, the lending platform has, since September, provided each Paylater loan applicant with a free credit bureau report, irrespective of decision, with 100% reporting of positive and negative data. To date, the company has shared over 60,000 reports with customers.

Chijioke Dozie concludes, “With the Central Bank of Nigeria [CBN] currently revising the Licensing Regime for finance providers and fintech platforms in Nigeria, and with more formality and  regulation surrounding the sector, this was the right time for OneFi to undertake the positive step of securing a credit rating score, as we work to build a legitimate, trusted lending brand. We are now held to the same levels of transparency and scrutiny as other leading financial institutions in Nigeria”.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Communication Week Media Limited.