“5G network is key to financial inclusion as banks transact N5.3tr on digital channels” | The Guardian Nigeria News


More investment needed for the deployment of broadband
The telecommunications industry has been urged to ensure that Nigeria deploys 5G network technology as quickly as possible.

Indeed, technology is expected to play a huge role in bridging the financial inclusion gap in the country.

Zenith Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Ebenezer Onyeagwu, who revealed it yesterday in Lagos, during the “20 Years of Telecommunications Revolution in Nigeria: The Special Summit”, hosted by Compact Communications Limited, revealed that At the end of 2020, Nigerian banks had processed naira 5.3 trillion on various digital channels.

These channels include ATMs, internet banking, mobile banking, unstructured supplemental service data (USSD), among others.

Onyeagwu said Nigeria urgently needs 5G to increase transaction volumes in the financial sector and other sectors of the economy.

Already data from Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) shows that at the end of 2020, only 64% of Nigerian adults were financially included. This, according to EFInA, means that 36% of Nigerian adults or 38 million adults have remained completely financially excluded.

While appreciating the efforts of the telecoms sector over the past 20 years, the boss of Zenith Bank urged industry stakeholders to do more, stressing that there will be greater dependence on the telecoms sector. in the future.

“The revolution has only just begun. 5G offers more capabilities. The telecom industry gave birth to Fintechs – reasons there are more to come. But on that, fintechs cannot come into the financial sector and not be regulated, ”he said.

Onyeagwu believes that broadband and internet access is still very difficult in the country.

He called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that more investment is invested in the broadband sector, stressing that this is a key element in expanding financial inclusion in the country.

He revealed that so many parts of the country still lack basic telecommunications infrastructure that could deepen financial inclusion.

Speaking on the USSD issue, which has caused disagreements between banks and telecom operators, Onyeagwu said, “Banks don’t owe telecom operators. In 2018, when the CBN found that the USSD was able to accelerate financial inclusion, it was understood that telecom operators would not charge. But we understand that they were using infrastructure. We therefore concluded that end users would pay for the service and a fee of around 10N. Banks are only agents between USSD users and telecom operators. Most of the transaction fees go to switches (NIBSS) to maintain the infrastructure.

While digital transactions are beautiful, they present challenges like cost, cybercrime, and data breaches among others. “Therefore, there has to be collaboration to meet this challenge,” he said.


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