As part of their latest project, MTN, the top African telecoms operator is preparing to apply for a mobile banking license in Nigeria. This is the latest push by the Nigerian central bank to increase access to basic financial services.
Currently, one-third of Nigeria’s entire population, more than 60M people, do not have bank accounts. Globally there are around two billion people without access to any financial services. This is largely due to the fact they lack adequate identification documentation, such as passports or driving licenses, to meet the regulation requirements set out by banks.
Although MTN is trying to solve the unbanked problem in Nigeria with a bank license, the larger issue of the two billion unbanked citizens of the world still stands. According to identity verification experts at Trulioo, the mounting problems faced by unbanked individuals can be helped by leveraging access to mobile carrier data, offering a global approach to financial inclusion. Currently it is estimated that six billion people worldwide, including 80 percent of the population of Nigeria, are in possession of a mobile phone.
Zac Cohen General Manager at Trulioo comments: “By connecting with mobile network operators, ID verification services can offer organisations access to unique data sources from emerging markets. Traditional sources, such as credit, government or utility data are non-existent or limited in these markets. By taking a global approach to financial inclusion, businesses and consumers can access financial services across borders just as easy as they would locally –fuelling a true global economy.”
“This has significant potential impact for unbanked individuals. Even in digitally forward-thinking countries such as Britain there are around 1.5 million people do not have access to a bank account.
“With Trulioo’s global marketplace of identity data and services, the unbanked will have a more promising way to prove their identity to access basic financial services – enabling them to save, borrow, and transact.”