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…As CBN’s 500,000 agent banking takeoff remain in pipeline
The World Bank in its latest report on financial inclusion has hailed Ghana for its decade-long drive in moving formal financial services uptake from 41 per cent in 2014 to 58 per cent in 2017.
Financial inclusion is the universally accepted development term used to describe strategies and programmes to ensure ordinary citizens are not excluded in interventions including those in the financial sector such as banking and technology.
The Global Findex Database 2017 Report titled; ‘Measuring Financial Inclusion and the Fintech Revolution’ observed that with about seven million adults still unbanked, up to 1.4 million adults who receive their wages and payments in cash have mobile phones which can serve in capturing them in financial inclusion vide the growing 151,000 agent banking outfits.
However, in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is still in the process of working out modalities that will power the planned integration of about 500,000 agent banking outlets in every part of the country to drive financial inclusion.
The Report notes further that while 52 per cent of adults globally, own bank accounts that of Ghana stood at 49 per cent, saying the number of the unbanked population in the world stands at 1.7 billion, and majority of them being women who are less educated, live in poor households and living on less income.
On the ownership of bank accounts, the Report cited high cost of account operation and proximity to banks as reasons why many people do not have accounts even though the report maintained two-thirds of the unbanked have a mobile phone and that as many as 300,000 unbanked adults are paid through cash.
The Report indicates that from a humble but a determined beginning, Ghana has recorded phenomenal growth in the mobile money sector with a current volume of $3 billion, $82 million monthly transactions with 151,000 Mobile Money Agents nationwide.
There are indications that with the recent launch of mobile money interoperability, the financial inclusion gaps in Ghana will soon become narrow if not closed.
Accordingly, World Bank applauded the regulatory revisions done by the central bank of Ghana which has created an enabling environment for the sector to thrive and grow exponentially, and recommended leveraging on new digital products in insurance, credits and savings.
Business Hilights gathered that the 130-page Report authored by the World Bank Group presents key ﬁndings from the Global Findex database, with detailed insights into how adults in more than 140 economies access accounts, make payments, save, borrow, and manage risk. As the data shows, each economy has its own successes, challenges, and opportunities when it comes to financial inclusion.