By Akin Akinremi
The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Mr. Ade Shonubi, has advised Nigerian banks and electronic payment firms to develop products that would help capture the over 60 million unbanked population in the country.
He said the reality is that the banking institution in Nigeria is looking at two different groups of people to address, which shows that the institution has not captured half of the population in the country.
“The Bank Verification Number says we have 25 million bank customers with about 60 million bank account. We are told we have about 180 million Nigerians, and we can say only half of that number are involved in economic activities. That means we have about 60 million people who are not captured. This shows that the Deposit Money Banks still have a lot of initiative to put in place in order to capture the unbanked population in the country,” he said.
Speaking at the ongoing 2016 Card Expo in Lagos, Shonubi, further said there were a lot of opportunities for e-payment firms in view of the huge number of people in the informal sector who do not own bank accounts.
Shonubi further noted that unlike in the past where payment process was driven by banks, the rebasing of the economy shows that there are huge opportunities for other operators in the space.
“As bankers we need to be scared because we need realignment on the relationship with our customers. The other thing with Nigerian banks is that the current economic situation has painted them as black sheep and as such, they would unfortunately bear the larger brunt of whatever happens and it is going to impact on their bottom-line.
“It also means that a lot of us who have been buying technology outside Nigeria would find that increasingly difficulty. This is because the expectation for meeting payments the terms of the foreign firms would change. In all these things there would be massive opportunities for us all,” he added.
Speaking earlier, the Head of Shared Services at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Chidi Umeano, said there was need for stakeholder in the electronic payment space to continue to work together so as to build an e-commerce domain whose service delivery would portray efficiency and quality.
“A consumer needs to be assured that an order placed online would be delivered on time with same quality as that that was purchased online. Gone are the days when an order is placed and the order is not delivered, with the customer left in the dark. Efficient service delivery is the major driver of e-commerce in any country.
“We need to build a market to make Nigeria and e-commerce hub in West Africa and also Africa. I am talking about an e-Commerce sector that would be generating jobs for millions of Nigerians,” he said.
On his part, he urged e-Commerce firms to ensure the continuous training of their staffs. To the Country Director, Visa, West Africa, Ade Ashaye, while speaking on the sidelines of the event, he stressed the need for holders of electronic payment cards to take necessary steps to protect their cards.
“Fraud is everybody’s responsibility and we have to continue to educate Nigerians on usage of their cards on electronic payments. If you got a situation where people are giving their pins or online passwords away, that is the number one problem.
“But the solution or the first thing we have to do is to continue to educate them about keeping your card details secured. We also need to work with the banks to ensure that the customers understands what happens if something goes wrong and how they should respond, so that the consumers are not scared if they see a transaction that was not from them. So, I believe education is the key for us all,” he said.