Heritage Bank Plc has stressed the need for sustained collaboration between banks and financial technology companies (fintechs), to support Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) drive for financial inclusion and promote economic growth.
Ifie Sekibo, managing director of Heritage Bank, said this while delivering a goodwill message at the 2018 annual national conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) held in Lagos recently.
Sekibo, represented at the event by Wunmi Adeniyi, the bank’s divisional head, corporate compliance, pointed out that over the years, Heritage Bank has developed solutions to promote financial inclusion.
He said Heritage Bank had taken bold steps to boost the CBN’s initiative of reducing the numbers of unbanked Nigerians in the country, by offering financial services to the nooks and crannies of Nigeria thus providing access to the under-served markets.
“We all agree that our target is to achieve acceleration of financial inclusion. Those who are financially excluded are majorly technologically excluded, he said, adding that it means that banks cannot push financial inclusion if they do not also push technology inclusion.
He said partnering with fintechs will enable the financial services industry push for inclusion and improve the economy,
According to Sekibo, financially excluded persons actually constitute a gap in the financial system and there is no way to create a perfect economy except all these people are brought on board.
“Another issue is that the older generation is averse to technology because they have not been exposed to it and the fear of fraud,” he also said, but assured that the CBN and the banks will continue to improve its technology space.
“We might still have issues, but with the creation of the Consumer Protection Department of the CBN, the customers are sure of protection,” he said.