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Fintech’s role in financial inclusion rises but infrastructure, literacy challenges loom – Business

Fintech’s role in financial inclusion rises but infrastructure, literacy challenges loom – Business

Indonesian fintech companies are still facing basic infrastructure and literacy issues in their attempt to increase financial inclusion in the country.

Some two-thirds of surveyed fintech companies were already serving both the unbanked and underbanked population, including in rural areas, according to a recent survey by the Indonesia Fintech Association (Aftech), which has 362 members offering various financial services.

However, 75 percent of the fintech companies reported they were still facing low financial literacy among the target market, 57 percent reported facing basic infrastructure problems and 44 percent reported facing limited capital or resources challenges.

“So if we can work on this part, all of these three things, we can actually reach our target even faster,” Aftech board member Chrisma Albandjar said on Thursday during the Jakpost Fintech Fest webinar series organized by The Jakarta Post.

“If we are very focused on that part we will actually achieve the 90 percent financial inclusion,” she added, referring to the national target in 2024.

According to a 2019 survey by the Financial Services Authority (OJK), Indonesia’s financial inclusion rate stood at 76.1 percent, marking an increase of some 40 million unbanked adults from 2017, when the rate was nearly 50 percent.

To overcome the challenges, 45 percent of fintech companies told the Aftech survey they collaborated with traditional financial institutions such as banks and 23 percent took part in the government’s strategic partnership.

Chrisma was expecting the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate the progress because it was leading to faster adoption of digital financial services as people had to stay at home or at least comply with social distancing rules.

The government also has interest in more and more people having a formal financial account so it can transfer its Rp 695 trillion (US$46.4 billion) coronavirus relief package efficiently, said Chaikal Nuryakin,

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Nigeria: Abu – Adequate Telecoms Towers Will Bridge Infrastructure Gap

Nigeria: Abu – Adequate Telecoms Towers Will Bridge Infrastructure Gap

The Chief Executive Officer of Pan African Towers Limited, an indigenous infrastructure company, Mr. Wole Abu, speaks about the need for government to support additional deployment of telecoms masts and towers, to bridge Nigeria’s infrastructure gap and enhance access to telecoms services in underserved communities. Excerpts:

What’s your general assessment of the infrastructure segment of the African telecoms market, where you currently operate?

The infrastructure segment of the African telecoms market has actually seen a lot of growth since the entrance of major players at the global level into Africa around 2012. From then, infrastructure and tower deals have grown year on year. Also, it is beginning to see cloud and fibre deployment at an increasing rate in Africa. So, infrastructure for telecommunication is growing and this is being driven by demand. In terms of adequacy, off course, there is still a demand-supply gap. Infrastructure is still not adequate. We still have a huge gap in that space. In Nigeria, filling the gap will demand an estimated investment worth $136 billion, according to the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) .

Over the years, and even before the coming of Pan-African Towers, deploying infrastructure has been faced with some bottlenecks. What are those challenges you have identified since you commenced operation?

Truly, many challenges are bedeviling the sector. There are social challenges like theft, vandalism, community issues and so on. And also, there are the business environment issues like multiple taxation, unfavourable or harsh government policies, forex scarcity and lack of long-term capital for investment in infrastructure in local currency. All these are the issues. Then of course, you also look at failure in power supply. Availability of power is important since all telecoms infrastructure, which are distributed across the country, rely on

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Abu: Adequate Telecoms Towers Will Bridge Infrastructure Gap

Abu: Adequate Telecoms Towers Will Bridge Infrastructure Gap

Chief Executive Officer of Pan African Towers Limited, Mr. Wole Abu

The Chief Executive Officer of Pan African Towers Limited, an indigenous infrastructure company, Mr. Wole Abu, speaks about the need for government to support additional deployment of telecoms masts and towers, to bridge Nigeria’s infrastructure gap and enhance access to telecoms services in underserved communities. Emma Okonji presents the excerpts:

What’s your general assessment of the infrastructure segment of the African telecoms market, where you currently operate?

The infrastructure segment of the African telecoms market has actually seen a lot of growth since the entrance of major players at the global level into Africa around 2012. From then, infrastructure and tower deals have grown year on year. Also, it is beginning to see cloud and fibre deployment at an increasing rate in Africa. So, infrastructure for telecommunication is growing and this is being driven by demand. In terms of adequacy, off course, there is still a demand-supply gap. Infrastructure is still not adequate. We still have a huge gap in that space. In Nigeria, filling the gap will demand an estimated investment worth $136 billion, according to the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy, and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) .

Over the years, and even before the coming of Pan-African Towers, deploying infrastructure has been faced with some bottlenecks. What are those challenges you have identified since you commenced operation?

Truly, many challenges are bedeviling the sector. There are social challenges like theft, vandalism, community issues and so on. And also, there are the business environment issues like multiple taxation, unfavourable or harsh government policies, forex scarcity and lack of long-term capital for investment in infrastructure in local currency. All these are the issues. Then of course, you also look at failure in power supply. Availability of power

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