MB targets to 45pc of people with no bank access

18Apr 2016
Victor Karega
The Guardian
MB targets to 45pc of people with no bank access

A record 45 percent of adults who don’t have mobile phones and therefore can’t access banking services are a new target of clients being trailed by National Microfinance Bank Plc.

NMB Plc Managing Director, Ineke Bussemaker

NMB Plc Managing Director, Ineke Bussemaker said her bank considers the group as its growth opportunity for the next few years.

“So we have to tap 45 percent of the adult population who present an opportunity to us and help advance financial inclusion,” Bussemaker said last Friday when welcoming 30 young graduates to join a two-year trainee programme for the bank.

She pointed out that in order to be the bank of the future, NMB staff should creatively think of how they can win all mobile platform banking services to include many more customers.

Bussemaker stressed that customers with mobile phones can be reached without walking into a physical bank branch.

“Clients can have NMB accounts on their mobile phones, check their balance, make payments and transactions without visiting a branch office,” she noted saying most of the 45 percent clients have mobile phones.

The banking industry is changing rapidly and getting grid of traditional banking with lots of paper work and queuing at banking halls and instead people are doing their banking through handsets.

As a result, Bussemaker said, NMB is also targeting to employ tech savvy innovative and competent youths to tap into the virgin market.

The ban’s acting Chief of Retail Banking, Abdulmajid Nsekela said the cost of providing traditional banking services is relatively higher given the costs incurred to open branches compared to mobile banking.

He noted that NMB is now embracing technology through avenues such as mobile banking, agency banking and fostering close partnership with mobile money platforms.

“Technology is going to have a huge role in scaling up financial inclusion because it reduces the cost incurred in reaching potential clients,” Nsekela said.

Nsekela stressed that a modern competent bank has to have tech savvy employees to use technology in advancing services.

Innovations around technology, he added, would also help the bank reach out to potential customers as there would be less physical infrastructure investment required.

He also stated that inter-operability between financial services provider would significantly reduce the cost of rolling out financial services across the country and at the same time lead to a cash-lite economy.

A Cash-lite economy is an economy whereby there is reduction in the high usage or volume of cash in circulation, thereby encouraging the use of electronic payment channels and reducing the cost of cash production and transportation.