TechRoundUp was on the TechieTalk with Teke Panel at the just concluded ³Social Media Week in Lagos and the panel discussions centred on Financial Inclusion, Social Media for Good and Cybersecurity. It was indeed an engaging deliberation and one we thought our readers may find quite insightful.
The overall conclusion was that there is no financial inclusion without financial literacy. So, the first step to achieving financial inclusion in a country like Nigeria is getting more people on board, creating awareness and providing more information on the issue. After all, for an economy to prosper, everybody needs to be financially included.
One of the panellists, Wole Faroun, the host of TechRoundUp said that in a digital revolution fueled by Social Media, there is a need to fully understand the way the financial inclusion is connected with our interactions on social media, as well as cybersecurity and this, brought the discussion full circle.
Another panellist, Confidence, a cybersecurity expert, who just got nominated as one of the top 50 Women in Cybersecurity in Africa, stated the importance of consciousness and awareness in safeguarding their information online especially on social media. Responsible with the use of the platforms and sensitivity to various tricks that can compromise data and privacy, will limit potential losses, which could be financial and much more.
Like Lanre Basatma, a Social Media expert was very bullish about the benefits of the platforms, arguing that the positive impact of Social Media far outweighs any negative drawbacks and that should not be our focus. He rightly mentioned that social media could be used either for good or bad, it is now up to everyone to choose, but he advocated that social media for good is possible and achievable, as long as we can explore these platforms in ways that are productive for us and the society.
Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) recorded in 2018 that the number of adult Nigerians that were financially included was on the rise, however, the growth rate is not proportional to the growth of the country’s population, as about 36.6% of adult Nigerians are still excluded.
Some argue that year after year, millions of dollars in investments have been pumped into financial inclusion around the world but the issues faced are mostly in emerging markets like Nigeria where there is high population but these people are excluded from financial services that could improve lives and businesses.
The role technology plays in driving financial inclusion is major and Fintechs are leveraging technology that makes it easy for citizens regardless of age, class and location to access financial and banking services. Challenges are inevitable but technology is already helping to solve this problem in the following ways:
- a collaboration between fintechs and the traditional banks as well as other stakeholders like telecommunication companies will further accelerate innovation and access to Financial services – the new Payment Service Banks are classic examples of how this collaboration may potentially work;
- technology deployment powered by funding from large corporates and social enterprises driving Financial Inclusion will provide more options for users;
- gap analysis and requirements gathering will lead to adequate products that truly reduce the gap and accelerate inclusion; and
- programmes that enable agents as last-mile Financial Service providers are key, and when we couple this with new technologies like AI, machine learning and big data analytics, the possibilities become limitless.
Jenrade (Tech RoundUp)