Digital Literacy,Digital Literacy, Low Smartphone Penetration Stall Financial Inclusion Low Smartphone Penetration Stall Financial Inclusion

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Digital literacy, low smartphone penetration, and incidents of fraud are key factors hindering financial inclusion in Nigeria. Premier Oiwoh, MD/CEO of Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, highlighted these challenges in his welcome address at the 24th edition of the Digital PayExpo Conference and Exhibition in Lagos on Wednesday. Hosted by Intermarc Consulting, the event brought together industry leaders, innovators, and stakeholders to explore the evolving landscape of digital payments in Africa under the theme, “Redefining Payment.”

Oiwoh emphasized the critical role of digital literacy, infrastructure investment, and smartphone penetration in driving the future of payments. He stressed the need for collaboration among stakeholders to enhance fraud detection and mitigation and to build trust in the existing payment system.

“To tackle the level of digital literacy, service providers must explore other options, including voice payments. In addition, more investment is needed in infrastructure to create scalability and stability,” Oiwoh stated. He revealed that less than 38 per cent of Nigerians have smartphones and called for initiatives to drive down the cost of smartphones to boost acquisition and penetration. Building trust in the existing payment system is crucial for leveraging it to drive GDP growth.

Dr. Aminu Maida, Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC), highlighted the importance of telecom infrastructure as the foundation for Nigeria’s digital revolution. He noted that sectors such as education, media, finance, and telecommunications are major beneficiaries of this transformation. Maida was represented by Tunji Jimoh, Zonal Controller, Lagos, NCC.

Engr. Bisoye Coker Odusote, DG/CEO of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), discussed the intersection of national identity and digital payments, emphasizing the significance of biometric authentication and the need for digital platforms to be compatible with cultural practices.

Folashade Femi Lawal, Country Manager of MasterCard West Africa, explored the role of AI and data in digital transformation. She emphasized that data is the fuel for digital transformation, with banks increasingly deploying AI to enhance business operations.

Mr. Abayomi Oluyomi, Commissioner of Finance for Lagos State Government, spoke about the impact of digital payments on governance and public services. He noted that digital platforms have been instrumental in increasing internally generated revenue (IGR) and improving fiscal management during crises like COVID-19.

Adeyinka Adeyemi, Chairman of Intermarc Consulting, noted that over the past two decades, the payment industry has experienced significant growth driven by advancements in technology and changing consumer behaviours. As we enter a new cycle, the focus is on further disruption and innovation. On the supply side, emerging technologies are reshaping the industry, while on the demand side, the preferences of Generation Z are influencing new demand structures.

As Digital PayExpo 2024 unfolds, attendees can look forward to two days of informative presentations, panel sessions, and exhibitions. The event aims to showcase the vast possibilities in the future of digital payments, emphasizing user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) as key components of the value proposition.