Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos
The Managing Director of Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Uzoma Dozie, has described trust as an important factor for the acceptability of any electronic banking solution.
He spoke during a panel session at the 2018 Annual National Conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), with the theme: “Banks, Fintechs and Nigeria’s Financial Inclusion Journey,” held in Lagos, recently.
According to him, when trust is breached, the consequences could be severe. Dozie, was represented at the event by his Special Assistant, Mr. Kehinde Erinle.
“Customers will not trust a system they don’t understand. For instance, in Nigeria, the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) recently launched the Mcash, a USSD product that can be used on any platform. “So, what is required now is education and it is very important because for someone to trust a system, he must understand the system. And the government has a very important role to play in that.”
He also identified the slow pace in ensuring everybody in the country has a unique identity number as one of the factors hindering the growth of financial inclusion in the country. “One of the problems we have in Nigeria is the issue of a unique identity number. How can I give out loans to someone I cannot identify?” he said.
According to Dozie, Diamond Bank is presently a digital company and not just a bank. “So, we understand that we cannot provide all the services and so we are always willing to partner with people who can provide those services,” he said.
According to him, the bank, through its Beta Savings Account product has taken banking to rural communities and has brought in those previously excluded into the financial system. He described the bank’s BETA Savings account as a safe and convenient savings account which encourages customers to save towards their goal consistently on a daily basis. “It is mainly targeted at market entrepreneurs/traders especially women who save regularly, leveraging on the services of “Alaajo” and “Esusu” programs.
Speaking on the theme of the conference, he pointed out that banks are in business, just like fintechs, noting that: “the customer is king.” “Banks need fintechs, just as the fintechs need the banks,” he added.