Financial inclusion: Access Bank targets 65m customers by 2022

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Determined to boost financial inclusion, Access Bank Plc says it is targeting a customer base of 65 million by 2022, through financial digital products.

Mr Chinedu Onuoha, Access Bank Head, Business Development and Planning, gave the figure at the unveiling of ‘Access Money Wallet’, a product introduced to drive financial inclusion in Lagos on Friday.

Onuoha said that the bank was targeting a minimum of 65 million customers by 2022 which would be driven through financial solutions.

“We have about 30 to 31 million customers presently, by 2022 we intend that we will have a minimum of 65 million customers, and the effort to drive the figure is through financial solutions like Access Money Wallet,” he said.

Onuoha, who is also Chairman, Association of Licensed Mobile Payment Operators (ALMPO), said “all the statistics shows that a good number of Nigerians don’t still have access to financial services.”

He said that the bank, from time to time, reviewed processes to drive the financial inclusion drive of the Federal Government by ensuring that all Nigerians, especially adults, had access to financial services.

“What we do from time to time is to see what is it we can do or change; and operate differently from the way it is being done today to induce these Nigerians to financial services and also to bring these services closer to them,” he stated.

Onuoha explained that financial services accessibility was the key issue in ensuring financial inclusion.

Speaking on Access Money Wallet product, he said that the product was designed for customers who had abandoned their accounts because of inability to provide the needed Know Your Customer (KYC).

“Access Money Wallet is a different type of account which we make available to or design for customers who for some reasons do not have all that is needed to provide for KYC for other types of bank account.

“There are some accounts that you want to open they will ask you to bring utility bill and address, among others.

“But we know the peculiarities of our country Nigeria, some Nigerians are good citizens who work every day to earn a living but don’t have places where you have utility bills and addresses.

“What we have done with Access Money Wallet is to say just come, give us your name, give us your date of birth, give us your gender and your age.

“And once you are an adult and a legitimate citizen, we will give that wallet. It’s an account that allows transactions to be done through the mobile phone or also by going through our agents outlets across the country.

“So, that is what we are trying to do with Access Money Wallet to deepen the financial inclusion,” he stated.

According to him, the bank has in the market the highest number of financial inclusion customers of roughly 18 million customers.

“What we discovered over time is that due to the way the market is operated and due to do some regulations that come from time to time a good number of these customers do not meet some requirements for operating properly the way accounts traditionally where been operated.

“Some of them pulled back and stayed back, our recent campaign is to tell them that we have a solution to it.

“We have roughly about 15 to 18 million customers who are financial inclusion customers, the current campaign is to make them reactivate their accounts,” Onuoha said.

He explained that customers can check their balances, send money to relatives, buy airtime with Access Money Wallet product.

“The daily limit is up to N50,000 in terms of withdrawals and the wallet can hold as much as N300,000,” he added.

On loan lending, Onuoha said that the bank’s conversation with customers would increase once they enrich their KYC.

“As customers enrich their KYC, the bank’s conversation with the customer would increase, and the customer can now start benefiting from our lending products,” he said.

Onuoha said that the bank, in 2018, gave out about N1.5 million loans through digital channels, and would give out over N3 million loans in 2019.

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