PalmPay champions trust as key to Africa’s last mile financial inclusion drive


PalmPay,  an African-focused fintech company, has emphasized the importance of building customer trust among stakeholders in the FinTech industry across Africa, saying that trust was essential to achieving last-mile access to digital financial services in underserved communities across the continent.

Speaking at the 2024 RegTech Africa Conference in Lagos, Nigeria, held recently Chika Nwosu, Managing Director of PalmPay Nigeria, stated, “When we look at the digital payment space in Nigeria, sometimes we feel that we are doing well. But, the data shows that more must be done to build trust, especially from the last mile of underserved people to achieve a better result.”

Mr. Nwosu, who participated in a panel on ‘Bridging the Data Trust Gap for Last Mile Access to Digital Financial Services in Africa,’ emphasized that for digital payment platforms in the African FinTech space to thrive, transparency in their processes is vital.

“One of the reasons why we are facing this challenge is the lack of transparency. Sometimes financial service providers are not upfront with their fees, leading to hidden charges. When customers find unexpected charges after believing a transaction was free, they lose trust in the service and may avoid the financial service provider in the future,” Mr. Nwosu explained.

Mr. Nwosu offered several recommendations to build customer trust, including investing in customer care representative training, providing 24-hour customer care service, protecting customer data, and promoting financial literacy. He noted that these measures are crucial as “most customers in the last mile are illiterate, lack formal education, and do not understand many of the products offered to them.”

He continued, “Another issue is inadequate customer care services. It can take weeks or even months for customer complaints to be resolved, and some customer care agents are not well-trained to handle these complaints. These experiences can deter customers.”

Mr. Nwosu emphasized the need for financial service providers to enhance customer care skills, including offering 24-hour services, to build trust.

Addressing data privacy concerns, he added, “What do you do with the data that you collect from people? Is their data safe with you? These questions are very important. For example, if agency banking in an underserved area does not provide good services, customers will lose trust in the entire system going forward.”

The 2024 RegTech Africa conference, with the theme ‘Harnessing Partnerships for Africa’s Prosperity – Bridging the Data Trust Gap,’ attracted top professionals across Africa and with an interest in regulation, digital financial services, compliance, technology, fraud, risk, monitoring, reporting, financial crime, cybersecurity, data management, financial inclusion and identity management.

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