Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc has sought the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) approval to establish a wholly-owned financial technology (fintech) company.
In a statement in which this development was disclosed, the bank’s Company Secretary, Chidi Okezie was quoted as informing members of the public, and stakeholders that the financial institution’s leadership has resolved to floating a fintech subsidiary.
According to Okezie, the fintech subsidiary would be known as Stanbic IBTC Financial Services Limited, and it is subject to all regulatory approvals, including the licensing from the apex bank.
“Accordingly, Stanbic IBTC will update the market upon completion of the regulatory approval process as well as licensing of the new subsidiary,” Okezie stated.
Fintech’s revolution in Nigeria’s banking sector
With world economy’s restructuring and the way businesses are now conceived, it is no surprising that Stanbic IBTC intends to expand its footprint into the fintech sub-sector of the financial service industry. This is because, amongst other reasons, fintech is relentlessly striving to make transactions easier, seamless, and fast. All thanks to its automisation of delivery and utilisation of financial services, which are aided by state-of-the-art technology.
The use of technologies have in recent times been widely adopted on a global scale, which has influenced its continuous rise in the global market segment. With this in mind, it is pertinent to note that fintech is employed to help diverse sectors of the economy (not only in Nigeria), such that businesses like e-commerce, hospitality, and transportation, have now discovered innovative ways to obviate operational inefficiencies.
Can Stanbic IBTC drive Nigeria’s financial inclusion goal?
It would be recalled that 10 years ago, CBN launched the National Financial Inclusion Strategy at a time when about 46.3% of Nigerian adults were excluded from financial services.
The strategy, which was later revised by the incumbent CBN boss, Godwin Emefiele, was designed to achieve 95% financial inclusion rate by 2024.
With the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, the government is committed to bridging the gap between the unbanked and the banked by providing financial services that have the potency of accelerating national economic growth. To make this a reality, the apex bank is now pursing its goal with cashless policy, which is aimed at discouraging use of physical cash for transactions.
This policy then provided an enabling environment for the growth of fintech companies, which now provides and enhances equal access and use of financial products for the unserved and undeserved population.