Banks, fintech firms need to learn from mistakes – FITC boss

The Chief Executive Officer of Financial Institution Training Centre (FITC), Chizor Malize has said that deposit banks and fintech companies need to learn from their previous mistakes in driving financial inclusion in Nigeria.

Mrs. Malize made this known recently in Lagos while keynoting at the third edition of Industry Summit/Awards formerly known as Industry Evening Summit. This year’s summit had the theme: “Financial Inclusion, Digital Payment and the Challenges of Banking the Unbanked”.

According to her, the Central Bank of Nigerian (CBN) has led in the forefront of this drive, but to drastically reduced those segments of the unbanked and underserved, there is a need for synergy and collaboration between the deposit banks, fintech and
financial regulators.

“Low cost of transactions, and greater expansion in reach and a reduction in the use of cash for business dealings will happen when synergy is achieved,” she said.

While highlighting on the issue of collateral, the ace banker stressed that another major hurdle is the request for collateral when giving out loans.

“Most low-income earners cannot afford a collateral. Therefore, they opt not to go to deposit banks. Instead, they prefer borrowing money from loan sharks who give them at very high interests. According to Proshare Nigeria, there are over two hundred (200) fintech companies currently operating in Nigeria. This translates into about $560million USD in investments between 2019 to 2021,” she noted.

Mrs. Malize pointed out that the rise of these companies can be attributed to the increase in penetration of smartphone devices and the increase in the use of digital channels and agents to reach the underserved and unbanked in rural areas, adding that some of these fintech firms have also personalized their services to make it easy for customers to use their services, including mailing of ATM cards to customers who open accounts online.

Earlier in his welcome address, the convener of the event and the Editor-in-Chief of the Industry Newspapers, Goddie Ofose, said: “We are no experts on this subject matter, that is why we have gathered the best of the best in the industry to do justice to the theme. We sincerely hope that, in the end, the missing puzzle would be found, issues around the growing unbanked population would be sorted.”

He added: “Let also use the medium to thank our panelists: Mr. David Okeme, Divisional Head, Payment Solutions & Vertical Market, Systemspecs; Mrs. Chioma Afe, Group Head, Retail Marketing & Analytics, Access Bank Plc; Mrs. Branka Mracajac, MD/CEO, 9 Payment Services Bank (9PSB); Ms. Cherry Eromosele, Group Chief Marketing & Corporate Communication Officer, Interswitch; Mrs. Bola Atta, Group Director, Communications UBA Plc; Mr. Babs Ogundeyi, CEO, Kuda Microfinance Bank and Mr. Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business and Retail Products, FirstBank Limited; Oti Ukubenyenji, Snr. Vice President, Product Retail, Terragon as well as our moderator, Alhaji Mojeed Jamiu, an erudite financial journalist and publisher of Upshot Reports.”

According to Mr. Ofose, this year’s programme was two legged. The first was the morning session and the second leg was the dinner and awards in the evening.

Meanwhile, the second leg of the event, which was the awards Night/Dinner saw a long list of individuals and corporate organisations rewarded under different categories for their immense contributions to the country.

The award recipients include: The Udom Emmanuel, the governor of Akwa-Ibom State who emerged the best governor of the year 2021 (Infrastructure), also, the Chief Executive Officer of Modion Communications, Odion Aleobuah, was awarded PR Man of the Year, Rotimi Bankole, Chief Executive of SBI Stagwell, (Media Man of the Year) and First Bank Plc. (Advertiser of the Year).

Other awardees are Simisola Hughes Obisesan, Insight Redefini (Creative Director of the Year); Akin Adewakun of Nigerian Tribune (Brand Journalist of the Year) and Emmanuel Oriakhi, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries (Marketing Man of the Year).
In the corporate awards category, X3M Ideas bagged the Ad agency of the Year Award, Heineken snatched the Best in Marketing- FMCG category, Trophy won the Alcoholic Beverage of the Year Award, as Dangote carted the Best in Sustainability Award -FMCG category among awardees.

The event attracted stakeholders from the Integrated Marketing Communications and the Nigerian political space.

Photo caption: CEO, MediaFuse Dentsu International, Mr. Emeka Okeke presenting The Industry Governor of the Year- Infrastructure award won by Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel to the Commissioner for Environment, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Charles Udoh while Convener, The Industry Summit, Mr. Goddie Ofose looks on… at The Industry Summit held in Lagos recently.


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