By Tunde Osho
To deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria, Keystone Bank has entered into partnership with the Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) and i-OneC through leveraging of data to improve its product offerings.
The move, according to the bank is aimed at addressing the financial inclusion gap in the country, fostering a situation where the unbanked have access to effective financial services.
Targeted specially to those residing at the rural and less urban areas, the partnership is expected to also improve its personalised and predictive customer service and uncover new customer segments.
At the unveiling of the partnership known as KeyServ under the agency banking arrangement in Lagos, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Obeahon Ohiwerei, stressed that the collaboration has made the lender democratise banking in Nigeria.
Noting that financial services would be spread across every area in the country, he said it will help in getting the unbanked people to have access to financial services and contribute to economic development.
“It means that if we are able to attract half of 40 million that are unbanked using this platform and each person banks an average of N10,000, we have fully generated N200 billion into the banking system and that has several implications to the society.
“If that money is available, it can be applied to boost other real sectors of the economy. We can leverage on it and provide more services to the financial sector. What this means is that the country is going to benefit tremendously from it,” he said.
The Postmaster-General and Chief Executive Officer, NIPOST, Bisi Adegbuyi, said with the tripartite relationship, the opportunities would be limitless with a wide value chain.
He noted that NIPOST locations across the country would serve as agent for the financial institution.
He spoke on how the organisation has leveraged on technology to the bring innovation among its operations and how its project has made Nigeria to be among the five shortlisted countries in a competition it entered on world summit on information society-leveraging on ICT to create e-employment.
The Head of Financial Inclusion, Keystone Bank, Gbenga Adeyeye, said: “We intend to set up structures in all the NIPOST locations where customers can go and book services through cashing in and out, e-payment, funds transfer. This will go largely to address the financial inclusion gap that we have in the country.
“The 2016 survey showed 40million Nigerian adults are unbanked or under banked. So it is very critical that we bring this people to the formal financial sector.
“NIPOST is to make the platform available, i-OneC, the fintech that will drive all the transactions and Keystone Bank as the principal. With this new tech, money can be sent to those in the rural areas who are sure of redeeming their monies.
“What they need to do is to walk into NIPOST locations; open accounts and debit cards would be issued to them. There would also be ATM and POS terminals too. They will be at the point of enjoying financial services experienced at the urban areas.”
With 106 approved agents across the country, the services are already available at six locations in Lagos, Kano, Kaduna and Edo states.