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Access Bank, Airtel launch mobile money service

By Amechi Obiakpu, Lagos on 20/11/2014

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Airtel Communications is partnering Access Bank to launch ‘Accessmoney’, a mobile money service initiative. According to the two organisations, the idea is to promote financial inclusion using the mobile telephone.

‘Accessmoney powered by Airtel’ is a mobile money service package aimed at making financial services available to the banked and the unbanked. The product enables one to send and receive money from friends and family members, pay utility bills, buy airtime and make other financial transactions from the mobile phone, from the comfort of one’s home, without going to the bank.

Speaking at the product launch yesterday in Lagos, South-West, Nigeria, Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, said the need to ‘marry’ the banking activities and the huge mobile lines available in the country led to the birth of the product.

Wigwe said: “People today will say, we have far more mobile telephone lines than bank accounts, which has enabled more people to connect to friends and loved ones. Now, there are far more mobile lines than the projections of the mobile providers even far more than the banks. This we consider a big shame for the banks. That is why today we are bringing a change that will ensure that more bank accounts would be opened.”   

Wigwe admitted that though the mobile money service initiative was not the first in the country, neither would it be the last, it is a unique and effective product which has taken care of some of the loopholes in the services provided by other institutions.

On the choice of partnering with Airtel Communications, Wigwe pointed out that the banks that have succeeded in a similar service have always found partners that complement their value.

“Airtel is a partner that shares the same speed and value services as Access Bank. We have gone through the regulatory agencies and have carried out pilot services across the nation and we feel we are ready to give Nigerians the needed mobile financial services,” he said.

Segun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive, Airtel Nigeria, said the essence of the services is to make banking services available to every Nigerians and not just the rich.

According to Ogunsanya, “When two big companies come together, expect something big. When two great companies come together, expect something great because we are bringing financial services not only to the banked but to the unbanked; the flexibility to store money in the phone and to transfer money to family and friends or to pay utility bills and other services.

“With this, we are giving freedom from going into the banks or ATM machine and also bringing a good network of dealers where money can be paid and get converted into the mobile phones.”

•Photo shows Access Bank GMD Herbert Wigwe (2nd left), Airtel Nigeria CEO Segun Ogunsanya, Airtel Nigeria CCO Maurice Newa, and other officials . . . yesterday at the launch of ‘Accessmoney powered by Airtel’ in Lagos.

Source News Express

Posted 20/11/2014 1:04:26 PM

 

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