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Microfinance products panacea to poverty – Operators

By Amaka Abayomi

Poised to make the future of their clients bright and in keeping with the vision of being microfinance banks (MFBs) that truly provide financial services to people at the lower rung of the society, especially the less privileged and the active poor, most MFBs in the country have designed an array of financial products and services that would suit their end users.

In Nigeria, as in many developing countries, MFBs have designed systematic approaches and well articulated programmes through the provision of credit facilities and financial services to low income earners and micro entrepreneurs and these are believed to be the panacea to socio-economic growth.

Explaining why the management of his bank and, invariably, other MFBs have designed such financial products for their customers, the Head, Public/Media Relations Unit of Umuchinemere Pro-credit Micro Finance Bank (UPMFB), Sir Abuchi Anuyiagu, said apart from keeping with their mission of being an MFB with ethical standards, such products enable them to offer the best-in-class financial products and services that are innovative, socially responsible, customer focused, grassroots oriented as well as promoting integral human development.

“At UPMFB, we offer current account, savings account, fixed deposit account and offer loan account for taking and repayment of loans to our customers.

“On products, UPMFB offers small and medium scale enterprise loan; salary advancement loan; three-wheeler rickshaw taxi leasing; micro credit fund for groups; and micro leasing.

“Others are education advancement loan; seasons loan; agriculture loan; wedding loan; small business loan; workers loan; house improvement loan. We have plans to go into micro insurance scheme and may also go into micro health insurance scheme in the nearest future.

“Part of the reasons why we designed these products is to improve the lives of the active poor; to act as a partner and catalyst for the achievement of governments’ poverty eradication programme; to meet the financial needs of the poor and the unbanked and to give the poor a lifeline and empower them to fight poverty.

Recognising that different customers have different needs, the management of Accion MFB designed specific commercial and personal financial products to help their customers develop and grow their businesses, meet their short term liquidity requirements and save for a brighter future.

For people who want individual and family savings, Accion’s My Brighta Family Future Account is the answer as the accumulated funds can be used to acquire or increase the value of assets, enable the individual or family to take charge of their financial situation or save towards future plans which in the long run, will aid financial self-sufficiency.

For individuals or entrepreneurs who desire a traditional savings account for transaction purposes, My Brighta Business Saving Account is it while the My Brighta Business Current Account is a transaction account for SMEs who perform moderate volumes of transaction with third parties and require convenience and ease in carrying out these transactions. This account provides ready access to funds through cheque or branch.

My Own is a loan facility targeting micro and small businesses whose analysis is based on capacity to repay. The loan provides financing for working capital purposes.

My Own Plus is a consumer loan that is payroll based, as a short and medium term credit facility. It’s basically a consumption loan. Our Own is a wholesale micro finance product that seeks to avail loans to micro entrepreneurs through institutions, registered associations that enter into partnership with AMfB.

Determined to ensure that the highest level of banking standards in terms of efficiency, customer satisfaction, transparency and accountability are upheld, AB Microfinance Bank designed a set of core products, notably Micro and SME loans, as well as current, savings accounts and term deposits with the target customer group in mind.

AB Current Account gives you unlimited access to your money at all times and you can manage your business, execute payments and receive salary through this account. Available to individuals and corporate bodies, benefits include zero minimum opening balance; internal and local money transfers; encashment of cheques and dividend warrants; standing order transfers/payments; free statement of account (on request); affordable pricing; and transparent and speedy transactions.

AB Term Deposit Account (TDA) allows owners to fix their money for a chosen period of time and gain attractive interest rates. Done by opening either a savings or current account, the benefits are affordable minimum deposit of N20,000; competitive interest rates; flexible tenure, between 30 – 360 days; and stable interest rates throughout the duration of the term.

It behoves on MFB customers to take advantage of the numerous products available to grow their businesses and secure their future.


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