Interswitch, an integrated payments and digital commerce company in Africa, has highlighted mobile payments as a critical tool to drive financial inclusion, not only within Nigeria but across the entire African continent.
Thomas Eze, regional head of Northern business at Interswitch, who spoke during the ‘Techconnect 3.0’ conference in Abuja, said the need to unlock the full potential of mobile payments to deliver a more inclusive economy cannot be overemphasised.
Noting the continuous increase in the number of internet subscribers in Nigeria, he said digital solutions were critical to bridging the financial services divide, especially in underserved areas, and ultimately bringing marginalised communities into the formal economy while boosting economic growth.
“In an era defined by technological prowess and innovation, mobile payments serve as the gateway to financial inclusion. Interswitch has tirelessly championed this transformative journey, furnishing tailor-made payment solutions that empower small and medium-sized enterprises to partake in the digital economy,” he said.
“Our mission is clear – to democratise access to financial services, and our dedication to this mission remains steadfast.”
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission, the number of internet subscribers increased to 154.8 million as of December 2022 from 141.9 billion a year earlier.
Stressing the need for collaboration among stakeholders, Eze added that the imperative of realising a financially inclusive economy through mobile payments, which according to him will create sustainable outcomes for customers, institutions, and facilitators alike.
Eze, who reiterated Interswitch’s commitment to empowering Nigerians and Africans, noted the consistent success of innovative products like Verve and Quickteller, lauding them as champions of financial inclusion and prosperity.
In her presentation, Suzan Fasipe, head of retail payments at Interswitch, stressed the need to fortify existing digital solutions to curb fraud incidents, safeguarding consumers’ sensitive data, and navigating emerging industry trends.
According to her, there was a need for banks to engage customers through sensitisation programmes to educate them on the loopholes in the system.
She said: “This is to ensure that customers do not fall susceptible to criminals. In terms of regulations, I think the government is doing all they can. It’s just for us to implement them and actually ensure that we follow through.
“The Techconnect 3.0 event is an instrumental platform for robust discussions on financial inclusion strategies and the pivotal role of regulators in advancing digital financial inclusion.”
According to a statement, Interswitch’s dedication to shaping a more inclusive financial landscape through mobile payments reverberates not only across the African continent but also on the global stage.
“The company’s visionary leadership stands as a beacon of inspiration for the financial industry, illuminating a path toward broader financial inclusion and economic empowerment for all.”