The World Bank Group considers financial inclusion a key enabler to reduce extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
Financial inclusion means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs such as; transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance which are delivered in a responsible and sustainable way.
Being able to have access to a transaction account is a first step toward broader financial inclusion since a transaction account allows people to store money, send and receive payments.
Financial access facilitates day-to-day living, and helps families and businesses plan for everything from long-term goals to unexpected emergencies. As accountholders, people are more likely to use other financial services, such as credit and insurance, to start and expand businesses, invest in education or health, manage risk, and weather financial shocks, which can improve the overall quality of their lives.
Great strides have been made toward financial inclusion and according to the World Bank, at least 69% of the world’s adults have an account, including those involving the use of mobile phones. Moving from access to active usage of these accounts is now the new focus.
According to the World Bank Group WBG, since 2010, more than 55 countries have made commitments to financial inclusion, and more than 60 have either launched or are developing a national strategy on financial inclusion. For Nigeria, the country has been able to achieve reasonable progress toward financial inclusion by;
-Allowing mobile financial services to thrive.
-Welcoming new business models, such as leveraging e-commerce data for financial inclusion.
-Paying attention to consumer protection and financial capability to promote responsible, sustainable financial services.
When countries take a strategic approach and develop national financial inclusion strategies such countries increase the pace and impact of financial inclusion on their citizenry and national reforms.