Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank, one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions has partnered with Clickatell to offer virtual airtime top up (VTU) – a value-added service that taps into the country’s drive for a cash-less society.
Africa is Largely Unbanked
The unbanked population in Nigeria is high, with an estimated 79% of people without access to financial services. Reducing these numbers is a huge challenge for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
According to Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General,
“The stark reality is that most poor people in the world still lack access to sustainable financial services, whether it is savings, credit or insurance. The great challenge before us is to address the constraints that exclude people from full participation in the financial sector.”
The unavailability of banking services is believed to be one of the major factors preventing the poor from exiting the cycle of poverty, as it forces them to manage their finances on a cash-only basis and restricts their access to equitable sources of credit. This makes them particularly vulnerable to loan sharks, increasing their descent into financial despair.
Nigeria is Embracing a Cash-Less Society
High on Nigeria’s financial inclusion agenda is the move towards a cash-less society, because according to the CBN, the cost of cash and associated risk of a cash-driven economy to Nigeria’s financial system is high and increasing. This cash-less policy is designed to promote:
· Financial intermediation, financial inclusion
· Minimise revenue leakages
· Create internally generated revenue and reduce incidences of robbery
Despite the high unbanked population, the popularity of mobile feature phones is increasing at a considerable rate, with pre-paid services the order of the day.
Nigerian Mobile Phone Users Latest Stats:
· Nigeria's active mobile subscriptions are over 100million
· Up to six in every 10 Nigerians are unaware that they have the ability to manage their mobile telecommunications account via their bank account
GT Bank and Clickatell are Revolutionising Banking with VTU
Leading the way is GT Bank, who through Clickatell, now offers VTU via their Mobile Money, Mobile Banking and Internet Banking services. Pre-paid Airtime is a cornerstone of any mobile solution and is seen as a critical success factor to mobile banking and mobile money’s success in Nigeria. VTU is a convenient service for clients wishing to purchase airtime anytime, day or night, for themselves or others. VTU also attracts all promotional discounts offered by the Mobile Networks to the consumers. In the next exciting phase of the partnership, GT Bank, in collaboration with Clickatell, will offer an even broader array of VTU prepaid products including Pre-paid data, Pre-paid fixed lines and Pre-paid BlackBerry bundles. To see GT Banks’s current offering click here
By offering GT Bank customers access to VTU, Clickatell operates as the bridge between the bank and the consumer enabling them to access banking services in a virtual space that is secure and easily accessible anywhere, anytime. This is particularly vital in a country where the threat of robbery is incredibly high near ATMs and bank branches.
Samson Isa – Director of Clickatell West Africa says, “I think VTU will be a great mobile prepaid product distribution technology that will revolutionise the telecoms distribution space because of its ease of usage, security and availability.”
Isa continues, “GT Bank’s approach is revolutionary in the Nigerian market, as they utilise user-friendly apps to drive mobile banking. I think they should be commended for driving this forward-looking technology, and making a success of it.”
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