Financial Inclusion refers to the deliberate efforts targeted towards removal of barriers that exclude people from accessing financing and participating in the financial services sector. It involves the provision of affordable and accessible financial products and services to individuals and businesses regardless of the net worth of individuals or the value of the businesses. [1]

Therefore, this implies that the aged, physically challenged and vulnerable within the society should have access to and effectively use a range of financial services which should be provided in a responsible, safe and sustainable manner within a well-regulated environment. This should include access to finance from formal financial institutions for varied purposes including for educational and business opportunities, as well as the use of formal insurance products that allow people to better manage financial risks. [2]

Financial products and services include payments, savings, credits, investments, pension, insurance, etc. which are delivered in a responsible and sustainable manner. Available research data indicate that the percentage of Nigerian adults that were served by financial service providers stood at 36.3% in 2010 and grew from 43% in 2012 to 48.6% in 2016. It improved to 64.1% in 2018. [3] The banked population stood at 30% in 2010 and grew from 32.5% in 2012 to 38.3% in 2016. [4]

The above data confirms the need to leverage technology to bridge the financial inclusion gap. Financial exclusion of individuals in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa has been attributed to cultural and religious barriers, difficulties in profitably serving excluded groups, high levels of unemployment, security challenges, poverty, geography and continuing high levels of informality in the economy. [5]

In some instances, there has not been sufficient governmental or political commitment to drive the necessary reforms and policy initiatives that will drive the growth of financial inclusion.

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