Heritage Bank Plc has stressed the need for sustained collaboration between banks and financial technology companies (Fintechs) to complement the monetary authorities’ drive towards financial inclusion and economic growth.

The Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Mr Ifie Sekibo, said this while delivering a goodwill message at the 2018 Annual National Conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) held in Lagos.

Sekibo, who was represented at the event by the bank’s Divisional Head, Corporate Compliance, Mr Wumi Adeniyi, pointed out that over the years, Heritage Bank had developed solutions to promote financial inclusion.

According to him, the bank had taken bold steps to boost the CBN’s initiative of reducing the number of unbanked Nigerians by offering financial services nationwide, thereby providing access to the under-served markets especially at the grassroots.

“We all agree that our target is to achieve acceleration of financial inclusion. Those who are financially excluded are majorly technologically excluded.

“That means that we cannot push financial inclusion if we do not also push technology inclusion. We believe that by partnering fintechs, the financial services industry will push for inclusion and improve the economy.

“That is because the financially excluded persons actually constitute a gap in the financial system and there is no way we can create a perfect economy except we bring all these people on board.

“Another issue is that the older generation is averse to technology because they have not been exposed to it and the fear of fraud. The CBN and the banks will continue to improve on our technology space.

“We might still have issues, but with the creation of the Consumer Protection Department of the CBN, the customers are sure of protection”, Sekibo added.