Only cheap data, phones can fast-track bridging financial inclusion gap — GTBank

Contrary to earlier believe that financial inclusion gap can be closed using technology education, the Managing Director of GTBank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, has argued that “For Nigeria and other African economies to bridge financial inclusion gap, deepen connectivity and improve the economy, access to cheaper data services and smartphones are crucial.”

Making his submission during a presentation titled: ‘Building the bank of the future,’ at the Social Media Week (SMW), Lagos, he was quick to aver that endless technological innovations has disrupted the usual brick and mortal, giving way for Fintechs and telecoms to become unavoidable key players with sound market share cut from the banks due to the regime of data and Artificial Intelligence banking operations than ledgers and writing materials.

In his views, both digital penetration and financial inclusion will continue on snail speed pending when the current high cost of data access in Nigeria is crashed.

Agbaje argued that time has come for the regulator; the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to find a rallying point where it can convince telecom giants that lower data prices means even more business and income for them as more Nigerians will not only access data, but use them profusely.

At a point in his submission, he argued that telecoms need not base their high data prices on cost of infrastructure, noting that MNOs, now make more money from data services than before but yet to reduce the cost.
He revealed that even though handsets are gradually becoming cheaper due to market forces, the same market forces has failed to assist in dropping the cost of data which is now the key driver of almost every business in the world and Nigeria cannot be an exception after all.
Giving further emphasis on his key topic, Agbaje explained that “The bank of the future will be a simple trusted integrated platform that connects customers to all services they need for their well being.”
On the latest product of the bank, the chief executive noted that it is built on four pillars, including music, messaging, e-commerce.

According to him, “Habari is different things to different people and it is meant to evolve giving users’ unique experience. It is sophisticated because the future app will perform more than one thing.
“Although the convention has always been a single-purpose mobile app, we believe that the future of digital service is integrated solutions that leverage on data to offer customers a wide range of products and services.

While stressing that “We have over 15 million customers and this platform will help us stop worrying about disruption,” Agbaje revealed that the new App will be more beneficial to startups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) considering the advantage that there is no need to worry about infrastructure to drive their daily operations only data and sense of business development.

 

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