Expanding Digital Financial Services in Nigeria

In 2012, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy to reduce financial exclusion to 20% of Nigerians by 2020. Since then, there has been slow progress in reaching the targets. Traditional financial services providers, such as commercial banks, remain inaccessible to majority of the 62% of Nigerian adults who live in rural areas, due to their limited geographical reach. There are also significant difficulties in serving the mass-market profitably, as 60% of Nigerians report earning an income less than the national minimum wage of ?18,000 per month.

Achieving the financial inclusion targets will require widespread adoption of digital financial services – the provision of formal financial services through electronic channels. Digital financial services enable the delivery of financial services to the low-income through solutions such as mobile money, mobile/internet banking, use of cards, Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines and ATM services.

In November 2017, EFInA commissioned a study to explore how stakeholders can expand the usage of digital financial services to lower barriers that hinder low-income customers from accessing formal financial services conveniently.

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