The financial industry was dominated by a few brands and they still do but new players keep coming up and the banking sector has been found wanting especially with the arrival of financial technology companies(Fintech). This has brought about choices and new financial solutions for customers to choose from.
The Central Bank Of Nigeria approved the launch of payment service Banks in 2019, the effort was to ensure that 80% of bankable adults have access to financial services in Nigeria by 2020. This shows that a large number of Nigerians are currently unbanked or underbanked and the need for financial inclusion.
Due to the arrival of Fintech solutions in Nigeria, Banks have been forced to increase the quality and quantity of their offerings and services, some banks have diversified into Fintech solutions, is that a move that is healthy for the growth of small fintech solutions, that is a topic for another day.
The amount of choices amounts to customers having the power to choose the kind of solutions they want but still, people are unbanked or underbanked. What is going on? Too many choices breed the issue of solutions by the financial payers trying to outsmart others instead of focusing on what the consumer needs. Therefore, identifying the customer’s needs and the challenges they face in their daily life is key to creating products, platforms, and communication context needed.
Another issue is the problem of trust. Why should I trust a bank or fintech solution to keep money when they fail to deliver most promises made? Cowrywise had this issue when the promise of safekeeping of money was broken.
Funmi Oyatogun, who was once an advocate for the use of Cowyrise, got her money stolen from her account and the initial response of the Cowryrise team showed poor customer relations and the lack of a proper crisis management plan and this lead to outbursts from Nigerians on twitter who stated their disappointment. Once a customer trusts a brand, then he can refer and vouch for the brand in front of people during conversations. People trust people and what they say therefore word of mouth is very powerful. Financial Players should never downplay its effects.
Transparency is another challenge they need to work on as it would open doors to trust, clarity, and good communication. Most of the solutions and offerings by the financial sector players are difficult to understand and are not straight to the point. This has raised issues of dishonesty and hidden charges that customers get to understand only after engaging in the services of the provider.
In order to appear transparent and stand out from others, the use of corporate speaks and jargons needs to be replaced with clear and simple words. The use of corporate jargon just raises suspicion of players trying to exploit people and take away their money. They need to communicate the way real people do and once this is done then clarity is achieved cause without it then how can these unbanked people which many are from rural areas understand why they need to be banked or why they need those financial solutions.
The road to financial inclusion is a rough one but understanding People’s needs and problems and the barriers holding them back from using your solutions is vital and so is establishing trust and transparency and also providing clarity in the way the solutions are communicated.
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