By ELIZABETH AMIHOR
Ecobank Plc has launched the Ecobank mobile money, an e-money channel, to support the cashless economy in Nigeria.
Speaking at the launching of the product in Lagos, the Managing Director of the bank, Mr Jibril Aku said it is a special product designed to deepen financial inclusion for all classes of Nigerian citizens, especially those in the rural and semi-urban areas.
He said it is design to reduce cash dependency level in the day to day transactions of Nigerians, adding that it is the fulcrum on which the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria stands.
He said, “Ecobank Mobile Money delivers convenience, accessibility and reliability to customers in line with the bank’s mission. Nigerians, irrespective of their location will now be able to use their cell phones to conduct basic financial transactions – even if they don’t have a bank account. The Ecobank Mobile Money now gives citizens the power to achieve their banking needs conveniently”.
Speaking about the product he said, “As we all know, mobile money services have huge potential in markets where mobile penetration vastly outpaces the number of people with bank account. This is the clear case in Nigeria today as we have available over 90 million cell phone users, both the banked and unbanked. There is therefore an urgent need to offer an affordable, but convenient, solution to money transfer services”
In other for the bank to realize this objective of providing financial services to the unbanked, Mr Jibril said the bank has commenced focused expansion of its retail agent network reaching into the communities where customers live.
“Agents main role is to provide cash in/out services within easy reach of their customers. Agents are continuously being trained to offer increased customer support and on the ground education to our subscribers”.
He said, “Those that can use the product are Subscribers of any participating GSM network with any make of handset; GSM network subscriber not registered on Ecobank Mobile can receive funds”.
He further stated that Ecobank branches have been set up to receive register and unregister customers of Ecobank Mobile Money who want to do transactions on their phones.
He added that telecom partners which include Roamware, the Platform providers: Glo, Airtel, Etisallat – are providing the bank with service data that allows high speed interactive communication between subscribers and application across the GSM network.