Oyindamola Aje

CAM 2019

“[YYGS] taught me about the value of humanity, the beauty in nature, and the potential to do something better in the world. I intend to find a way to intersect the analytical power of science and the lovely nature of humanities in the world. Surely, something good will come out of it.”

“How can we maximize technology to promote financial services to unbanked Nigerians?” read the poster on the wall, proudly displaying the topic for the latest innovation challenge in school. The issue was challenging. For starters, Nigeria doesn’t have that much technology to maximize, and so many people don’t even know about banks, let alone financial services.

After a few hours of searching up financial services in Nigeria, I had deduced the main reason why the unbanked had no access to financial services. Most of them lived in rural and semi-rural areas and therefore were illiterate. I needed to find a solution.

To tackle problem one, I proposed making a virtual platform that uses a USSD code. The USSD code would be able to work with all phones, therefore, making the platform easily accessible. Offering various languages, users would be able to perform financial services such as transferring money or paying bills. In this way, the illiterate would quickly learn about financial services.

On the other hand, people in rural areas don’t have phones. To solve this problem, I proposed agents. Agents would be able to digitize their money. By “digitizing” their money, the agents accept the person’s payment in cash and uploads the exact amount offline using the agent’s phone. Afterward, the agent uploads the information onto the server, thereby digitizing the person’s money.

Being the winner of the innovation challenge, my proposal was taken to the local government. Although it hasn’t been implemented, I hope my project would make an impact on Nigeria and help change the lives of various Nigerians.

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