EFInA hosted the Launch Event and Workshop for its Innovation Grant Request for Proposals Round 8 (RFP 8). The RFP 8 has only one window:
- Window One will consider proposals focused on fostering new approaches to expand the uptake and usage of Digital Financial Services by the Low income Population in Nigeria.
The Launch Event provided insights from the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2016 survey that highlighted the trends, challenges and opportunities for providing digital financial services to low income population in Nigeria. The General Manager of EFInA, Mrs. Linda Quaynor, stated that the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2016 survey indicates that although 58 million adults own a mobile phone, mobile money adoption is exceptionally low and the financially excluded population remains high at 40.1 million adults (41.6% of the adult population). While usage of electronic payments channels has improved from 22% of the adult population in 2014 to 24.7% in 2016, this is still relatively low. Expanding mobile money usage in Nigeria presents a real opportunity to provide financial access to the low income customers as well as address access to other social benefits and services. These include facilitating bill payments such as utility bills, hospital bills, insurance, school fees, pensions, as well as government-to-person payments, sending/receiving money, saving money and loan disbursements/repayments.
Mr. Saqib Nazir, the Chief Executive Officer of Interpay Africa, an international payment service provider, specialising in an electronic payment platform that makes transactions and e-commerce simpler, secure, and more convenient, provided global best practices for developing profitable business models for digital financial services to the low income population.
Similarly, the Executive Director (Business Development), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), Mr. Niyi Ajao, gave a presentation on the overview of digital financial services in Nigeria backed with statistics of the current trends. He also shared insights on how operators can collaborate to make the system more efficient.
Mrs. Suzanne Adeoye, Grants Manager, EFInA, shared information on the EFInA Innovation Fund and highlighted key aspects that make for a successful proposal for the RFP round 8. She emphasised that financial services providers and government can expand the reach of digital financial services in Nigeria by being customer-centric, deploying widespread agent networks, investing in strong technology solutions, forming innovative partnerships and ensuring that the right fee structures and incentives are in place to encourage use. In addition, the EFInA Programmes Team facilitated a workshop to provide prospective applicants with insights on developing compelling and robust business cases for the RFP 8 and tips on developing customer and agent value propositions.
The event was wrapped up with comments from Mr. Adetunji Lamidi, the Chief Executive Officer of FCMB Microfinance Bank who talked about the benefits of being an EFInA Grantee laying emphasis on the FCMB Group Lending and Agency Banking Grant Projects currently being funded by both EFInA and the bank.
Participants at the Launch Event and Workshop included Regulators, Deposit Money Banks, Microfinance Banks, Mobile Money Operators, Mobile Network Operators, Insurance Providers, Fintechs, Pension Fund Administrators and Government Officials.