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Inlaks boss, Adeoti reveals what made Kenya’s Mpesa thick in financial inclusion

The Chief Executive Officer of Inlaks Group, leading Nigerian systems integrator and payment solution provider, Mr. Femi Adeoti, has explained key factors that boomed financial inclusion and mobile money in Kenya through Mpesa platform.
In an interview in Lagos, he said a reliable national ID system remains the major factor in aggregating a national financial architecture that will redefine trust in systems integration that will grow and stand the needed security for data services tailored to drive mobile money.
According to him, Kenyan’s Mpesa, the continent’s unbeatable mobile money platform is driven by just a standard national ID and use of mobile phone.
He said added to errorless national ID and data services that have penetrated everywhere, “Kenya also has good telecommunication services with good internet bandwidth, and Safaricom has the dominant market share in the country”.
“These are key peculiarities, which are important to mention in the Mpesa success story. So, our policy makers can adapt some of these learning in their policy formulation and implementation as lessons learnt from Mpesa.
Adeoti averred that “Nigeria needs to evolve our own unique model suitable to our people, our country, learn from it and refine it to the level whereby it will be a successful model”.
On the key lessons that are revelatory from Mpesa, Inlaks boss argued that “The fact is that Mpesa spoke to and addressed the need of many Kenyans in being able to send and receive money especially in rural Kenya. The need was there; the Kenyan banks had limited number of branches and Automated Teller Machines in rural Kenya”.
“Also, Mpesa connected to the average Kenyans right from the name of the service which in Swahili means mobile pesa; that is mobile money. With that, an average Kenyan can easily relate. There was also massive consumer education in local languages telling people about the existence of the service and benefits.
“Many rural dwellers prefer to keep their money at home rather than bank it as the rigours of opening bank accounts discourage them. How can financial institutions make it less cumbersome for these people to open an account?
“To encourage use of financial system by rural dwellers, there is the role of financial institutions as well as role of regulators of these institutions. I have spoken earlier about the role of regulators and policy makers. Let me mention a few of some of the roles of financial institutions.
He revealed further that in Nigeria, because of ‘financial goals cap’ instead of ‘social mission caps’ worn by Nigerian banks, “The mentality of classical commercial banking will discourage an average rural dweller. There was a case whereby a farmer (in his farm clothes) in Kenya refused to enter a banking hall because of the sparkling white tiles in the banking hall”.
“That is one of the benefits of the shared agent programme as fintech organisations as ours will be in the middle to bridge the gap, having created an agent network.