Some 1.7 billion adults worldwide still don’t have access to a bank account, according to data released by the World Bank. The situation is slowly improving, however, with 1.2 billion people getting access to proper banking since 2011, including over half a billion people in the last three years alone.
Banks, telcos, ministries of finance, central banks and leaders in the banking industry from 10 nations across the West African region are set to gather in Lagos at The Future Banking Technology Summit to discuss efforts aimed at increasing financial inclusion in the sub-region by 2020.
The Future Banking Technology Summit will address over two days of panel discussions and case studies showcasing the full value chain of the region’s banking and financial sector to best achieve financial inclusion and sustainable banking sector growth.
Commenting on the Future Banking Tech West Africa Summit, Khalila Baldwin, the Director of the Summit said: “At such an exciting time for the financial space in West Africa, we knew it was imperative to launch an event capturing as many of the dynamic components of this sector as possible. A key focus of our event, and many new policies being driven within the region, is to ensure financial inclusion is increased across West Africa. We therefore wanted to shine a light on the leading strategies increasing access to finance with the top financial stakeholders in attendance”.
“Late last year the Central Bank of Nigeria announced the introduction of Payment Service Banks, and amidst so much buzz around Telco’s entering the financial space in Nigeria we also wanted to provide a platform for both the traditional and non-traditional financial entities to converge” Baldwin added.
The first of its kind event will focus on the future of digitising banking services for Central Banks in West Africa. This is as leveraging off experiences of similar regions can aid in the adoption of best financial inclusion practices, as it is becoming incumbent on banking stakeholders to be rapid, yet savvy in incorporating disruptive mobile money platforms, automated banking systems, tailored credit facilities and crypto-currencies for this dynamic market.
The two days summit will also tackle several paramount topics including, innovation in regulation- Overcoming gaps in rural banking strategies, supporting innovative financial institutions to improve financial inclusion, improving credit facilities to underbanked and Small and Medium Enterprises, throughout main panel discussions and networking breaks.
The summit brings together under one roof dignitaries from various industries across West Africa countries to exchange visions on ways of achieving progress in financial inclusion, that is becoming highly sought for recently to cater the demand of population, and the rapid penetration of latest telecommunication technologies by customers.