43% of Nigerians remain financially excluded ―LBS
The Lagos Business School has revealed that 43 per cent of Nigerians are financially excluded.
In its financial inclusion report, which was launched in Lagos on Thursday, the LBS noted that only 49 per cent of Nigerians owned bank accounts.
It said eight per cent of Nigerians owned a mobile money account, while 36 per cent used informal financial tools.
While commenting on the findings of the study, the Academic Director, LBS, Dr Olayinka David-West, who also leads the Sustainable and Inclusive Digital Financial Services initiative, said this was an indication that Nigeria was not on track to achieving its financial inclusion target by 2020.
The LBS, in the key findings of the customer segmentation study, stated that a broader community engagement was essential to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria.
It said there was a need for unconventional methods for on-boarding financially-excluded persons, such as the use of livestock ownership as collateral for financing, among others.
The report read in part, “Six customer segments of financially excluded persons were identified. These are vulnerable believers, which amount to 12 per cent of the population, resilient savers (21 per cent), dependent individualists (22 per cent), digital youth (19 per cent), confident optimists (14 per cent), and sceptical cultivators (12 per cent).”
David-West noted that limited knowledge of customers was one of the many challenges of financial service providers.
According to her, this limitation often resulted in the misidentification of customers’ needs.
She said the customer segments presented in the report provided insights into the behavioural and attitudinal traits of the bottom of the pyramid population, which is currently estimated at 75 per cent of Nigeria’s population.
She stated that the report aimed to provide financial service providers with correct information to create fit-for-use, segment-aligned digital financial products.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with consumers. We need a paradigm shift in how we view these customers and how we can make their lives better through financial services,” David-West added.
A Partner/Nigeria Director, Dalberg, Nneka Eze, said they carried out the research in Nigeria as well as five other countries to determine what made people interact with finances in Nigeria.
According to her, financial inclusion is beyond opening or owning a bank account, but entails how often the account is accessed and used, and how the financial service providers assist or influence the individual’s life.
She said, “We want a situation where we can keep more money within the formal financial institutions, and not the rural/non-formal ways. The report proffers principles on engaging with last-mile customers based on motivation and adoption triggers uncovered.
“The Sustainable and Digital Financial Services Initiative of the LBS will continue to carry out research to aid driving financial inclusion as a key indicator for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.”