Leveraging Mobile to Expand Financial Inclusion — Osahon Akpata

2 min readJan 4, 2023

Financial inclusion refers to offering financial and banking services to individuals and businesses. The aim is to provide financial products and services to everyone in the society irrespective of their income and savings. It mainly focuses on the underprivileged to ensure they make the best use of their money and attain financial education.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at the annual conference of “Banking Transformation Africa” where I described the picture of financial inclusion around the world. Specifically, focusing on leveraging mobile to expand financial inclusion.

Here are some excerpts —

Earlier this year, the world bank published the Global Findex Report which showed that 76% of adults have access to financial services. This is a 50% improvement from a decade ago. According to this report, mobile money is a crucial driver of access to financial services account in Africa. 70% of all transactions done in the previous year were in Africa. This is quite significant. In Nigeria, the largest of the countries, only 45% of adults have access to financial services account.

The three main reasons for this were- access, perceptions about banking and low irregular income. Trust is also a factor. Maybe they do not trust that they have put their money somewhere where they will be able to access it or would not be taken away from them.

So, what have we learned in that quest for inclusion across Africa?

Firstly, we have learned that pricing matters. You will be surprised to see the way pricing is done for financial services from country to country. Secondly, access is key. Being able to find a point of service within reach is a very important thing. This is why we launched the agency “Banking Network”. Thirdly, literacy can be a challenge. People need to understand the importance of having a financial services account and how a product works. Fourthly, regulation is a major driver of what happens with financial inclusion. Fifthly, interoperability gives people choices that expand the usage of financial services. So, the future looks very bright for financial inclusion on the continent. The question is what part will you play?




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