Access Bank, Airtel Collaborate on Financial Inclusion

Nigerian Tribune, November 20, 2014 (by Chima Nwokoji)

In pursuit of financial inclusion drive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), a partnership between Access Bank Nigeria Plc and Airtel Nigeria has given birth to a mobile money service tagged ‘Access Money.’

At the launch of the service, also known as ‘Mr Money’ in Lagos on Wednesday, Group Managing Director Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe, said the partnership with Airtel would create a pathway for opening more bank accounts, rather than concentrating on high net worth customers.

If the poor are brought into the banking system through appropriate technology, it would make a good business for the banking industry, he added.

This service allows customers to perform simple, secure and instant financial transactions using their mobile phones.

With this innovative service, customers on any mobile network can send and receive money, make deposits and withdrawals, pay their utility bills and buy airtime for their lines. Added to the convenience this service provides is the ability of customers to receive money through agents nationwide or through card-less withdrawals from any Access Bank ATM machine.

Mr Herbert Wigwe further said: “Through Access Money, we will be providing financial access to more and more people and small businesses; creating an easier channel for the distribution of financial aid; and also making it easier for government to receive taxes and deliver welfare payments.”

According to him, Access Bank and Airtel agreed to introduce Access Money powered by Airtel, into Nigeria’s financial landscape in line with the Financial Inclusion initiative of the CBN even as it serves as a platform to bring more and more of the ‘under-banked’ and ‘unbanked’ into the world of banking.

“It is something that reaches new groups of people and helps them to build and grow the success stories of tomorrow. And it’s something we are proud to champion,” he said.

In his comments the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, noted that Airtel as an innovative operator in Nigeria’s telecoms market was strategic in partnering Access Bank, also one of the leading financial institutions in Nigeria to create an enabling avenue for millions of Nigerians to gain financial inclusion. With Access money powered by Airtel, millions of Nigerians will be able to make purchases, pay for services and receive payments by the touch of a simple button on their phones he said.

“We are indeed proud of our partnership with Access Bank and hope that many Nigerians will take advantage of this product” the Airtel boss stated.

To deposit money into their Access Money powered by Airtel wallet, customers can go to authorised agents, any Access Bank or better still, a registered Access Money user can transfer from his or her own bank account to any wallet. Customers will receive confirmation or notifications Short Message Service (SMS) for transactions performed.

The service is also aimed at promoting financial inclusion for those with no access to formal financial services.

On his part, the Group Head, Channel Services, Access Bank, Mr. Segun Ogbonnewo said this collaboration between Airtel and Access Bank will deepen financial inclusion and bring more Nigerians into the formal financial system. This will serve to support CBN’s financial inclusion target of 80 per cent of Nigerians by 2020.