Financial inclusion is all about individuals and businesses having access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs. These needs could be transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance which are delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.
On-the-go financial access facilitates day-to-day living, and helps families and businesses plan for everything from long-term goals to unexpected emergencies.
Although being one of the most populous continents in the world, Africa is still a mid-level player in the banking sector and lags behind some continents with respect to Financial Inclusion. We have really come a very long way and still climbing.
Before now, everything banking has to be done in the banking hall and with the use of pen and paper but not anymore. Over 80% of banking operations do not have to take place in the banking hall anymore. You now have the choice of performing banking operations on the go which is a lot easier and fun.
Of course technology has been a major player in the rise of financial inclusion in Africa. A lot of financial institutions are now leveraging Digital technology, or “fintech,” to make their services more accessible to the masses.
You can now perform major banking operations like money transfer, account opening, account balance checking, and pay several bills on your mobile phone.
Who would have thought that Africa of all continents would come this far.
It’s such an exciting era for Africans.
Apart from banking operations, African based businesses are springing forth every day that are rendering financial solutions through the use of technology.
Even loan facilities can be accessed either through mobile device or just by the click of a mouse. How amazing!
As account holders, people can now use other financial services, such as credit and insurance, to start and expand businesses, invest in education or health, manage risk, and weather financial shocks, which can improve the overall quality of their lives.
- It has become easier than ever before to open an account
- Cash-payments has been Digitized making the phrase – cashless society more real to Africa than the illusion it used to be.
- A lot of Mobile-based financial services are bringing convenient access even to remote areas
As our continent have accelerated efforts toward financial inclusion, it is very important that we put measures in place to combat factors that may impede our progress. These include:
- Ensure that hard-to-reach populations, including women and the rural poor also has financial access and services extend to them.
- The government should increase citizens’ financial literacy and capability so they everyone including the illiterate gets to understand different financial services and products
- Ensure that everyone has valid means of identification, and a low-cost, accessible means for them to be authenticated. This will go a very long way in combating crime.
- Devise useful and relevant financial products, tailored to consumer needs
- Create and implement very robust financial consumer protection, relevant regulatory and supervisory authorities to ensure that everything is done right.
Although we are still coming up, we have the foundations well laid and in the nearest future, we should be able to measure up to the developed countries in the area of financial inclusiveness.