Nigeria Banks, others back digital lending

Operators in the Nigeria financial services sector have expressed support for the growth of digital lending, which is seen as effective in reducing the level of default compared to conventional banking loans.

This was part of the communiqué issued at the Consumer Awareness Financial Enlightenment Initiative webinar series #1 with the theme, ‘Going digital the new normal for financial transaction’.

Part of the communiqué read, “Digital lending has improved significantly as a result of deployment of data analytics and artificial intelligence tools which help financial institutions to profile consumers and make loan accessible to customers within the shortest time possible without formal collateral.

“Artificial intelligence has also helped financial institutions to offer customised financial services to customers. Evidence has shown that there is a low default rate in digital lending comparable to conventional banking loans.”

The three panellists at the event were the President, Africa Fintech Networks and Advisory Council Member, CAFEi, Dr Segun Aina; the Academic Director, Lagos Business School,  Prof. Yinka David-West; Director, Consumer Protection Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Haruna Mustapha. The Managing Director, Management Transformation Limited and Advisory Council Member, CAFEi, Dr Wura Abiola, was the programme moderator.

The communiqué stated that financial institutions should be holistic in their drive for digital financial services by integrating low-income earners into digital platforms.

It added that the digital equivalent of cash should be acceptable across board, especially in the payment system.

The group said relevant technology tools should be adopted and adapted in line with Nigeria’s peculiarities in term of languages to meet the needs of Nigerians.

“Build a system to integrate the current customers into digital financial services in order to avoid limiting the number of Nigerians that can access these digital platforms,” it stated.

It said the institutions needed to integrate customer experience and user interface in designing their product and services.

Co-creation of financial products and services by the customers, financial service providers and other stakeholders would deliver more effective solutions, it added.

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