The Nigerian Microfinance sector is strategically designed and positioned to provide formal financial services to the grassroots, with a focus on delivering micro-savings and microloans services towards improving financial inclusion in Nigeria. A recent evaluation of this industry has shown gaps concerning Digital Financial Services and a significant opportunity to strengthen players in this regard.
In line with the 2020 approved business plan which includes delivering capacity building to key players in the financial sector, EFInA organised a 2-day training session titled “Digital Financial Services Training for MFBs in Nigeria” on November 17 and 18, 2020. The training focused on developing innovative quality digital financial products while improving the quality of those that are currently being developed by MFBs, targeted at the un(der)banked population, and underserved mass population especially in rural Nigeria. This includes support towards developing a digital financial services strategy for the MFBs, including implementation.
The 2-day training, targeted at middle and senior management staff of selected MFBs was delivered in collaboration with AFOS, an INGO that promotes access to microfinance and financial services; and Microfinance Learning and Development Centre Limited (MLDC), a capacity-building vehicle for the Nigerian Microfinance sector.
This training sought to address these challenges experienced by financial service providers when rolling out DFS products for the low income. A major outcome achieved by the training is a clear step by step guidance on DFS products development and journey towards sustainability regarding product design, reach and profitability. Participants were also trained, supported and hand-held to develop DFS and digital strategies for their organisations.
The course introduced about 60 MFB leaders to the concepts of digital transformation and product development. It also helped to address the challenges experienced by MFBs during product rollout for low-income populations. Specifically, participants were able to appreciate and understand:
- Digital technologies
- Digital transformation and the components of a digital strategy
- Digital financial services
- Alliance and partner selection approaches, strategies and engagement options
- Technology implementation
- DFS product development
- Distribution approaches for DFS products
- Key risks in strategy development, implementation, product development and product deployment