The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of eTranzact International Plc, Mr Olaniyi Toluwalope, has said that leveraging technology could help close the investment gap in the capital market.
Toluwalope said this at the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria 2021 annual workshop with the theme: “Technology as a tool for financial inclusion in Nigeria at the weekend.
He said resolving the issue of 70 million Nigerians without bank accounts but with active mobile lines would advance financial inclusion and increase more participation.
Toluwalope said that only 150 million of Nigeria’s 200 million population owned mobile phone lines, 110 million owned 150 million mobile phone lines while about 40 million had active bank verification numbers.
Toluwalope said that there was a need to close the gap, especially as regards small and medium enterprises.
Toluwalope noted that financial Inclusion holds the answers to three questions that every capital market leader has which include how do we increase the participation of retail investors? How do we encourage more homegrown businesses to leverage the Capital Market for growth? And can the Informal sector participate in the capital markets?
Speaking on: Technology as a Tool for Financial Inclusion in Nigeria: A Fintech Approach,” Toluwalope said that over the past few years, technology had allowed more and more people to gain access to financial services.
He noted that and that has increased by default, the customer base of capital market operators had increased by default with the advent of technology.
“Essentially, the rise of digital financial services means growth for the capital market. In the same vein, by utilising technology to democratise capital market access and participation, we can direct, expand the current digital savings and investment offerings to leverage the capital market for increased returns.
“Today, the average Nigerian can open an account via the APP or by visiting a PocketMoni agent location, send and receive money. We can expand this to include buying shares on the Nigerian Exchange or bonds on FMDQ and the likes.
“Billions in investments happen outside the capital markets through unlicensed forex trading, crypto trading and even sports betting platforms.
“This gives insights into the risk appetite of the average Nigerian. We can leverage technology to capture this value while delivering Financial Inclusion,” he said.
Toluwalope said regulators and other stakeholders had explored different initiatives that have been utilised to deliver financial inclusion in the past.
On regulator-led Initiatives, he explained that implementation of a three-Tier KYC Structure was created to enable financial institutions to expand access to the unbanked while maintaining controls for risk mitigation.
He added that licensing of Mobile Money & Agent Banking Operators led to the rise of digital wallets and digital-first financial services delivered through the wallet-based ecosystems, rather than bank account-based.
He said licensing of Payment Service Banks enables other non-financial entities to leverage their distribution network to deliver financial services at the last mile, among others.