Financial Inclusion: EFInA Releases $2m Grant To Support FCMB | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Financial Inclusion: EFInA Releases $2m Grant To Support FCMB

Posted: Jul 20, 2016 at 1:34 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Bamidele Ogunwusi


Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) has released $2 million (564,000,000) Innovation Grant to support First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited with its “Group Lending and Agency Banking” project, which provides financial services and access to credit facilities for the financially excluded population.

Meanwhile, FCMB group lending project is a digitized credit and savings solution, facilitating instant account opening with debit card issuance for online real time transactions, driven by Point of Sale (POS) and mobile devices, while EFInA innovation grant will enable FCMB extend facilities to prospective customers in twelve states: Bauchi, Kaduna,Sokoto, Niger, Kwara, Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, AkwaIbom, Rivers, Cross River and Abia States.

In a statement, Chief Executive Officer, EFInA, Mrs. Chidinma Lawanson, said that the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 survey, revealed that about 42.7 per cent of the total female population are financially excluded compared to 35.8 per cent of the total male population.

To this end, she stated: “the FCMB group lending project seeks to drive financial inclusion by targeting low-income women and microbusiness owners directly through digital financial services and agent banking.

“The project is estimated to impact over 200,000 customers by providing them with a minimum loan of N30,000 per beneficiary, including a compulsory savings element of the loan which will deepen the savings culture among the financially excluded population.

“In line with EFInA’s focus to increase access to financial products and services to the low income population, especially women, the project is also designed to empower women by recruiting female agents in the target communities,” she said.

Also speaking, Group Managing Director/CEO, FCMB, Mr. Ladi Balogun, said that the EFInA innovation grant aims to promote financial inclusion through market development by enabling provision of appropriate financial products and services at an affordable price to micro business owners and those who are currently financially excluded.

He added that the group lending project will drive financial inclusion by increasing access to financial products, bringing financial services closer to the unbanked adult population through the deployment of agents in communities without financial service providers.

According to Balogun, “Through this project, the low income population will be provided with access to credit, savings and other value added services such as funds transfers and bill payments. “The project will be highly driven by technology to create a distinct offering from other existing micro lending businesses. The automation of loan processing, disbursement and repayment via POS/Mobile solutions will ensure an efficient and swift loan disbursement and collection process.”