IWD 2022: How 9PSB is breaking the Bias to Support Women’s Financial Inclusion

It is common knowledge that women contribute meaningfully to the
economic prosperity of any nation, whether as business leaders, employees, consumers, or
entrepreneurs. Sadly, women have generally continued to receive the short end of the stick,
when it comes to financial inclusion.

According to a 2020 report by EFInA, there is significant difference between the number of men
and women who have access to financial services. The figure shows that out of the banked
population, 56% of men have access compared to 45% of women, showing an 11.5% gap.
Several factors can be attributed to the gap, ranging from social economic barriers to cultural
hindrances. More women are less educated, have no collateral to access loans for their
business, are unevenly paid for the same work as their male counterparts and in some cases
spend more on the household, therefore, often have less to save. Consequently, there
continues to be an imbalance in financial inclusion.

It is on this note that Nigeria’s leading payment service bank, 9 Payment Service Bank (9PSB) is
beaming the light on women financial inclusion to mark this year’s International Women’s Day.
With a visual storytelling aid, the bank is raising awareness on the need to close the gender
finance gap by supporting gender equality in access to finance and financial services.
According to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Branka Mracajac, “Providing access to our
agent network across the country is a key part of our strategy and ensuring that this strategy addresses
women’s needs – in response to statistics that show they are the more disenfranchised group – is for us
a mandate that drives our day-to-day activities.” 

She noted that, for this to be successful, there is the need to provide a financial literacy and
enlightenment strategy that speaks to an average Nigerian in unserved and underserved rural areas of
the country. Speaking further she said, “While executing & delivering on financial inclusion, we need to
have in mind the needs of its beneficiaries, the targeted end-users of the financial services who are
currently underserved, and the only sustainable way is to do this is to ensure that solutions address the
specific needs of, for instance, a farmer in Benue, the market woman in Onitsha, a trader in Kano,
fisherman in Delta, and the woman selling ofada rice in Ogun State”.

Speaking further on 9PSB’s deliberate policy drive to increase the number of women entrepreneurs, the
Executive Director, Finance & Banking Operations, Nasiru Isyaku, noted that the women on the 9PSB
Agent network have opportunity to earn an income, thereby guaranteeing more, their freedom of
choice. According to him, “We are strategic with our Agent network, which primarily is critical for us to
reach all nooks and crannies of the country. Our female Agents are doing incredibly well running their
9PSB stores and are steadily making great impact in ensuring access for all. With our suite of best-in-
class, customized technology solutions they can access and deliver on the brand promise backed by
competitive pricing, assurance of daily settlement and income tracking.”

Speaking also, the Head, Marketing Communications and Customer Experience, 9PSB, Olushola
, remarked that women contribute significantly to the economic prosperity of any
nation and should be encouraged to attain their full financial potentials.
He said, “At 9PSB, our mandate is to ensure that everyone, irrespective of who they are, where
they live or their gender, can access financial services seamlessly. Therefore, the campaign
theme #BreaktheBias is quite germane for us as a bank, to lend our voice in encouraging the
participation of more women in economic activity. And more importantly, it ties into our
commitment to drive financial inclusion for all as we continue on our quest to be the
community dweller’s favourite bank.”

International Women’s Day is a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and
political achievements of women, while also calling to action all concerned parties to create
space for, and accelerate gender parity.

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