The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has tasked Fintech companies to put in more effort to drive financial inclusion in Nigeria by providing services at low cost to consumers.
The Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN, Mrs Aishah Ahmad, while delivering her keynote address at the Nigeria Fin-tech week in Lagos yesterday, stated that customers would have greater freedom if prices were favourable.
“Fintech as a tool and as institutions would help us meet a number of objectives. Customers would have greater freedom, wider access at favourable prices and even at zero prices.”
However, as earlier published on Nairametrics, the CBN is moving to regulate the activities of fintechs which are disrupting the financial services industry by enabling banking services to be provided at cheaper rates.
Mrs Ahmad, speaking on the regulatory concerns said, “The challenge before us shall be to thrive not survive so that the benefit outweighs the risk. We see innovation and it is good, but it must be responsible, it must be inclusive and it must be held accountable.
“Policymakers are faced with a number of considerations, a few questions that have no easy answers and I’ve had this conversation in Nigeria and out of the country and no one has an answer. The first one is the supervisory and regulatory question. I get text messages every day asking about new companies and what they are doing and I’m asked if they are regulated and the question arises because there are new companies that are doing the same things banks are doing but are not being regulated by banks.
“All regulatory institutions including the central bank are faced with developing the framework to keep up with these technological changes that would retain the confidence. It is the basic requirement for users of financial transaction to be sure that the system is safe and credible. We also need to think of how we use professionalism is our supervision, regulatory framework and so on.”
Meanwhile, the CBN praised the fintechs for breaking the jinx and allowing banking services to be more inclusive and offered at favourable prices, which will potentially lead to growth.
“We having been trying for many years to lower the cost of deploying services by banks through many initiatives and some of these disruptions is actually helping us lower costs. Once more people are included, you would see better economic inclusion and you can have better growth.”