Financial technology (FinTech) platforms are best placed to serve as the panacea to financial exclusion, particularly in underserved and excluded areas, Executive Director of eTranzact Ghana, George Babafemi has said. According to him, the reach and potential of fintech transcends that of all previous solutions combined and evidence of its efficacy can be seen in the rising levels of financial inclusion in the country.
Stating that there are no groups of customers – existing or potential – that have been excluded from the fintech advancement, he revealed that platforms such as his are increasing their partnership engagements with financial institutions to extend banking and other financial services and products to under-served and excluded communities in Ghana.
This, he added, affords these institutions – which are constrained by the legal and the traditional scope of their operations – to provide services beyond their range, without infringing on ethics or standards.
“We are able to offer a myriad of electronic payment solutions including Agency Banking services with an integrated customer payment card and wallet processing functionality thus ensuring that we both operate within the remits of our respective licenses, whilst bringing increased financial services to those who were hitherto under-served or excluded,” he explained.
With approximately 2 billion adults, mostly in emerging markets, excluded from the formal financial system, according to the Universal Financial Access 2020 report by the World Bank, Mr. Babafemi argues that it would mount to a great disservice if local fintechs do not build on the unique opportunity that the changing financial landscape offers.
He however added that increased sensitization is required to diminish barriers to adoption and consolidate gains made in the last decade.
“Admittedly, there is still much to do. We are talking about lifestyle routines that have been the norm for decades, things do not change overnight but we are seeing progress as the understanding is getting better… We should look both within the city centers and beyond as there are many opportunities to be harnessed,” he said.
Speaking subsequent to eTranzact’s acquisition of an enhanced Payment Service Provider (PSP) license from the Bank of Ghana (BOG), the Executive Director suggested that more robust regulation will serve stakeholders in the nation’s financial services sector well, particularly with regards to Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (CTF) efforts.
“This brings about standardization to operate within the ecosystem. When this happens, customers can rest assured that when they entrust their businesses with us, they are safe and secured; not just because of the safety of our systems and infrastructure but also because they know that the key personnel attached have had thorough background checks conducted on them. After all, the weakest link in most cyber-related enterprises is human.”