The Central Bank of Nigeria has reiterated its commitments towards the deployment of fintech in actualizing financial inclusion goals across the country. This according to a source at the apex bank will help reduce the challenges customers continue to encounter such as regular long queues in the banking halls, consistent network failure, stringent documentations to assess credit facilities, frequent transaction/dispensing error, delay in transaction completion and process among others.
To this end, the Central Bank of Nigeria has granted final approval to Nigeria’s lifestyle and first payment service bank, 9PSB (Payment Service Bank), to commence operations in fostering financial inclusion drive in the Nigerian ecosystem. It could be recalled that a survey conducted by the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) a few years ago indicated that over 54 million Nigerians above the age of eighteen are either served by informal institutions or are totally unbanked. To get these people into the system requires well designed and targeted fintech deployment such as what 9PSB offers.
Speaking on the vision of 9PSB’s entrant into the Nigerian financial sector, the CEO of 9mobile, Mr. Alan Sinfield stated that there’s a huge potential in the market and 9PSB is strategically positioned to expand its operations into financial services. He stated that “We are happy to be the first Payment Service Bank to provide all Nigerians with access to banking services and open up a digital world of possibilities to improve everyday lives. We know that this new development will further improve the country and the people going forward. In 2018, 9mobile partnered with Nigerian bank, UBA to roll out 9Pay, a mobile payments solution while also pushing for a fintech license. We are delighted that we have now secured final approval for a Payment Service Bank.”
In his own reaction, the CFO of 9mobile, Mr. Phillips Oki stated that “the financial inclusion that 9PSB will provide will be an enabler to achieving unparalleled benefit in everyday transactions. The *990# allows Nigerians to perform all financial transactions including utilities payment from the comfort of their phones and homes on any mobile network at no charge. With a large network of agents strategically located in both urban and rural communities, 9PSB is going to make sending and receiving money possible, easier, seamless and less stressful for all Nigerians. 9PSB is also available on mobile App and internet banking for ease of banking and simplicity. Over the coming weeks 9PSB will unveil its products and services to Nigerians.”
9PSB will no doubt bring relief to all Nigerians. This is because Payment Service Banks facilitates sending remittances across the country from one user to another, bypassing the banks. Furthermore, 9PSB will reach the people at the bottom of the pyramid to facilitate financial inclusion especially in the rural setting and increase financial payment in Nigeria.
In October 2012, the CBN introduced the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) to provide Payment Service Banks across Nigeria with the aim of breaking the traditional barrier preventing financial inclusion and promoting low cost, secure and convenient financial services across the country.