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Ecobank MD, others list opportunities in digital financial inclusion; advocate partnerships between operators

The summit was designed to convene policy makers, operators, others to chat the way forward for the Nigerian digital financial landscape.



Ecobank Nigeria

Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has said the biggest growth opportunities in digital financial inclusion lies in the ability to combine the mobile phone, cards and agency banking services in the most cost-effective and convenient way to reach the citizenry on a sustainable basis. Akinwuntan, who made this submission at the Ecobank-Vanguard Digital Financial Inclusion virtual summit in Lagos on Tuesday explained that bank branches and ATM channels are cost-intensive to scale and less attractive to mass market financial service providers. He said agency banking, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), mobile app, card services, including internet banking and chatbots remain optimum channels for digital financial inclusion.

The Ecobank Managing Director explained that digital financial inclusion entails deployment of cost-saving digital means to reach financially excluded and underserved population with a range of financial services suitable to their needs and delivered at affordable cost, noting that it offers lots of benefits to all players in the value chain and also engenders wealth creation, drives economic growth and sustainable development. Further, he observed that the Nigerian financial inclusion trend has improved significantly, with exclusion rate declining 15.7 per cent between 2008 and 2018.

“There is sustained growth in digital financial inclusion, and it is largely driven by customer changing demands; entrance of non-traditional players such as Fintechs, Payment Service Banks (PSBs); mobile services penetration and enabling regulatory environment. With the introduction of mobile wallet Tier 1 accounts accessible with a phone number, agency banking, micro-lending, mobile BVN, micro-insurance, cashless policy and others we should now begin to move from poverty alleviation to wealth creation for the citizenry. Further partnership and collaboration of all stakeholders remains critical to deliver further growth in digital financial inclusion. Ecobank has been committed to driving digital financial inclusion through her pan Africa network advantage, award winning capabilities and various flagship products and services. We collaborate with Fintechs in Africa, as we are present across 33 countries in Africa. If you wish to bring your innovation into the financial system, you can reach out to us and we will guide you through the required regulatory requirements and then integrate your innovation into our digital payments and financial system,” he stated.

In his presentation, Chief Executive Officer, 9mobile, Alan Sinfield, said though the telecom operators are playing a vital role in financial inclusion of unbanked and underbanked, collaboration and partnership of all stakeholders was key to increase volume of digital transactions and mobile money activities. He lauded CBN for granting licenses to 3 Payment Service Banks (PSBs), stating that the PSBs will further help to drive financial inclusion and critically stimulate savings and investment as more liquidity is mobilized from the informal sector to the mainstream financial system that will translate to increased economic activities.

“Telcom operators in Nigeria have a customer advantage that financial institutions could benefit from to deepen their penetration. Banking started before telecommunication, but there are more active mobile lines than active bank accounts in Nigeria. A very key indication that we can achieve more through collaboration,” he stated

Also speaking, Director, Payment System Management, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Jimoh Musa averred that financial inclusion is at the heart of the apex bank as it has been playing active role though the strategy is for the whole economy, stressing that the CBN is interested in the progress of financial inclusion in Nigeria.  He lauded Ecobank and Vanguard for providing the platform to discuss financial inclusion to support the effort of making financial services available to Nigerians. He disclosed that CBN is coming up with other strategies in 2021 basically to enhance the operating environment more conducive for every participant in the payment system with a special focus on Fintech. He added that the apex bank has done creditably well in agency banking, mobile money operations, digital banking, industry cost to service, and requirements of opening bank account to promote financial inclusion.

The Ecobank Vanguard Digital Financial Inclusion summit was designed to convene policy makers, operators, business and thought leaders as well as industry professionals to chat the way forward for the Nigerian digital financial landscape, specifically financial inclusion for the vast majority of citizens operating within the informal sector of the economy.

"NM Partners" represent articles published in partnerships with Corporate Organisations, Government and Non-Governmental Institutions, and other stakeholders seeking to publish content on Nairametrics. Content includes Press Releases, Targeted content, and other forms of corporate communications targeted at our readers. Some of these content are paid for.

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JustLiquidity; The best place for easy and decentralized Crypto

JustLiquidity aims to be the leading top decentralized exchange on the Binance SmartChain, with revolutionary developments and product’s



JustLiquidity; The best place for easy and decentralized Crypto

Introduction of Julwallet feature (NFTs minting and NFTs shop)

NFTs and NFT artists have been trending a lot in the African art space

NFTs or NonFungibleTokens as it stands, are redefining the very outlook of various forms of creative work like art, video, music, characters in a game etc. NFTs by their very definition represents unique data on the digital ledger or blockchain. Unlike Fungible tokens on the blockchain, these tokens are not interchangeable as they represent something unique in themselves.

Justliquidity has introduced a few products to the general public that makes creating, storing, selling and sending NFTs all on the Binance SmartChain as BEP1155 token, the Julwallet is one of its revolutionary products that has all these features in it and more in development currently.

Our Telegram group and Twitter handles are:


JustLiquidity Africa

A few of other products JustLiquidity are:
The most popular one is which is our popular decentralized exchange

Our community token JULD can also be used for bookings on

Our Blackhole is a fully Decentralized protocol for private transactions on the #BinanceSmartChain.

We also have a token Bridge between the Ethereum blockchain and the Binance SmartChain .

$Juld can also be used for payments on

More features coming soon including our Julpad which is which is launchpad for new projects and also a debit card feature.

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Mastercard New Payments Index: Consumer appetite for digital payments takes off in Nigeria

78% of consumers in Nigeria say digital payments methods help them save money.



  • 96% of consumers in Nigeria are considering emerging payments such as wearables, biometrics, digital wallets and currencies, and QR code, in addition to Contactless, according to the Mastercard New Payments Index
  • 86% of Nigerian consumers have access to more ways to pay compared to this time last year
  • 78% of consumers in Nigeria say digital payments methods help them save money
  • 81% say they are more loyal to retailers who offer multiple payment options and would shop at small businesses if offered more diverse ways to pay

As the world went into pandemic lockdown in 2020, consumers shifted their spending habits to embrace contactless tap-and-go payments and online shopping. As stores closed and social distancing took hold, retailers worldwide moved their businesses online, embraced e-commerce and explored the potential of new ways to pay. More than a year later, research from Mastercard shows that the adoption of new payment technologies is rising, and consumer appetite for new, fast and flexible digital experiences continues to grow.

The Mastercard New Payments Index shows 96% of Nigerian consumers will consider using at least one emerging payment method, such as cryptocurrency, biometrics, contactless, or QR code, in the next year.

Over two-thirds of respondents (66%) agree they have tried a new payment method they would not have tried under normal circumstances, but the pandemic has galvanized people to try flexible new payment options to get what they want, when they want it. With this interest and consumer demand also comes a greater expectation for businesses to provide multiple ways to shop and pay. In fact, 81% of Nigerian consumers say they are more excited about shopping at retailers who offer the latest payment methods.  Additionally, (78%) Nigerian consumers say that digital payment methods help them save money.

“The pandemic made us think differently, partly out of necessity,” said Craig Vosburg, Chief Product Officer at Mastercard. “To deliver the choice and flexibility that consumers need – and increasingly expect –retailers worldwide need to offer a range of payment solutions that are easy to access and always on.  As we look ahead, we need to continue to enable all choices, both in-store and online, to shape the fabric of commerce and make the digital economy work for everyone.”

Contactless technology was the digital catalyst to explore new payment options because of its fast, secure, and touch-free experience. Between the first quarter of 2020 and the same period in 2021, more than 100 markets saw contactless as a share of total in-person transactions grow by at least 50 percent.  A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless is showing its staying power and dynamism – in the first quarter of 2021 alone, Mastercard saw 1 billion more contactless transactions worldwide as compared to the same period of 2020. All signs point to a continued growth path for contactless, with nearly 7 in 10 consumers globally anticipating using a contactless card this year.

“The world as we now know it has changed dramatically since the outbreak of the pandemic, accelerating long-term shifts in consumer transaction and payment methods. We continue to work with our merchants, fintechs and banking partners to rapidly innovate payment options that meet consumer needs while ensuring we drive financial and digital inclusion,” said Raghav Prasad, Division President, Mastercard, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Looking to the future, digital currencies and wallets, wearables, biometrics, contactless and QR codes are trending as emerging payments technologies as people’s comfort with them and understanding of them increases and the use of cash decreases. In fact, 86% of consumers in Nigeria have more ways to pay compared to this time last year. The exploding interest in new payment technologies may encourage businesses to expand their options at checkout. The Mastercard New Payment Index found:

  • Cryptocurrency1 Gains Ground – Today consumers can buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency as a commodity or investment. Consumers are also increasingly showing interest in being able to spend crypto assets for everyday purchases. As global interest in digital currencies continues to accelerate, 6 in 10 people (65%) in Nigeria say they plan to use cryptocurrency in the next year, with 76% noting they are more open to using it than they were a year ago. While consumer interest in cryptocurrency – especially floating digital currencies such as Bitcoin – is high, work is still required to ensure consumer choice, protection, and their regulatory compliance. Earlier this year, Mastercard announced that it will start supporting select cryptocurrencies directly on its network.
  • Biometric Payments are More Trustworthy – Perceptions of safety and convenience have been front and center for people over the past year. 49% of Nigerian consumers say they plan to use biometric verification methods like gait or walk assessments and fingerprint authorization. In fact, over 6 out of 10 people (66%) feel safer using biometrics to verify a purchase than entering a pin.
  • QR Codes are Cleaner and More Convenient – Growing markets are leveraging QR-based options as a clean and convenient way to interact with merchants. Consumer desire for clean and convenient ways to pay will remain post-pandemic. 54% of people in Nigeria expect to use more payment technologies like QR codes in the next year. Consumers also find that that QR codes are cleaner (75%) and more convenient (77%) for in-person payments and have a significant potential to reduce cost of payment acceptance and increase financial
  • Digital Wallets Surge in Popularity – Nigeria is seeing a surge in the popularity of digital wallets. 73% of Nigerian consumers said they were likely to use digital wallets next year. 66% of shoppers even say that they feel safer storing their card information in one place such as a digital wallet.

To Meet People’s Demands, Businesses Forced to Jump into Emerging Payment Trends

With consumer interest around new payment technologies, the expectation for businesses to adapt for the long-term is here to stay. Over three in four Nigerian consumers (84%) say that they would shop at small businesses, if they offered more payment options, and 81% noted being more excited to shop at retailers that can offer the latest payment methods, and an equal proportion (81%) said they would be more loyal to retailers who offered multiple payment options.

This behaviour shift is reinforced by the desire for consumer choice – with 89% saying that they expect to make purchases when they want and how they want. The businesses that can provide multiple ways to shop and pay are best positioned to meet these expectations. As the demand for emerging payments and choice continues, it requires a wider range of payment solutions, insights, and products to meet the accelerating enthusiasm for the future state of pay.

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