In order to achieve a fully financially included economy, industry players and regulators have been encouraged to further create a favourable environment to enable the full adoption of regulated digital currencies.
Giving the charge during a fireside chat session, held at a technology-focused gathering hosted by Tech point in Lagos recently, Mr. Obi Emetarom Co-founder/Managing Director Appzone said “I believe that the practical and perhaps the easiest way to achieving a fully financially included Nigeria is to encourage the adoption of digital currency across the country. Not having a fully financially included nation today is because physical cash based on fiat currency is still very much in circulation. Because digital currencies do not have nor need paper cash equivalents, an Immediate transition into fully digital payments based on digital currencieswill achieve immediate 100% inclusion. However, 3 key issues being regulation, interoperability, and ease of use must be addressed”.
Over the years, the Central Bank of Nigeria has been on a mission toward achieving a fully financially included Nigeria. However, 38.1 million of the country’s 106 million (18 years and above) adults, or 36 percent of Nigerian adults remain completely financially excluded, as recorded by the end of 2021. Nonetheless, CBN has continued to explore diverse opportunities for achieving its goals.
In 2021, the Apex Bank was recorded to have launched its digital currency, eNaira, In a bid to close this gap. An International Monetary Fund report shows that although the eNaira wallet is currently provided only to people with bank accounts, its coverage is expected to eventually expand to anyone with a mobile phone even if they do not have a bank account. A large number of people do not have bank accounts (38 million people; 36 percent of the adult population) and allowing those of them with a mobile phone to have access to the eNaira would increase financial inclusion and facilitate more direct and effective implementation of social transfers programs.
Emetarom believes that this, amongst other solutions from Appzone, are steps in the right direction that will spur a fully financially included society in no time.
Appzone has grown to become prominent for building technology infrastructure and solutions to aid financial services in Nigeria and across Africa. The recent launch of ZONE – Africa’s first blockchain platform for payment processing that facilitates local and Intra-African payments in fiat and digital currencies, has simplified payment transfer processing. Speaking about ZONE at the event, Obi Emetarom said about the network, that “financial institutions will be able to connect directly to one another on the blockchain without having to go through any central intermediary. Already adopted by the major banks in Nigeria, this will promote a seamless cashless society and ease intra-African payments”. “At Appzone, our vision is for digital payments and DeFi to replace cash and traditional banking operations in Africa which will unlock universal financial inclusion and accelerate economic prosperity for our con tinent” He added.
Appzone a payment infrastructure company was a major sponsor of the 2022 Techpoint Africa Blockchain Summit which was held on the 21st of May at the Banquet Hall of Four Point by Sheraton in Lagos.
Founded in 2008, Appzone Africa’s no.1 Fintech Software Engineering firm has evolved into a payment infrastructure company. Our Layer-1 Blockchain network digitizes Fiat payments and enables the transition to digital currencies while connecting previously excluded financial institutions into an all-inclusive payment ecosystem. In December of 2021, Appzone launched ZONE, Africa’s first decentralized payment network. ZONE allows participating institutions to connect directly with each other and perform payment transactions without an intermediary while completely automating settlement, reconciliation, and dispute management. We are working with the brightest minds on the continent to digitize and completely automate financial services. Our Vision is for digital payments and Decentralized Finance to replace cash and traditional Banking in Africa.