By Raheem Akingbolu, Nume Ekeghe and Ugo Aliogo
In a bid to foster financial inclusion in the country, 9PSB, a Payment Service Bank has commenced operations.
The firm said it has set a target of achieving six million new users in the first year.
By dialing *990#, customer can easily open accounts using their mobile numbers as an account number, transact and earn money per transaction, receive instant cashback on airtime purchases, savings proposition and investment opportunities.
Speaking at the launch of 9PSB, the Chief Executive Officer, 9PSP, BrankaMracajac, commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)for its drive towards bridging the gap of unbanked and under-banked citizens, assuring that her firm would aid the CBN’s financial inclusion goal.
Mracajac said: “As you all know the CBN recently approved the 9PSB to commence operation in the Nigeria financial ecosystem. Today, we commend the CBN for the tremendous work they have done to provide daily service banking to leverage mobile banking and digital channels to enhance financial inclusion and stimulate economic activities at the grassroots level.
“9PSB is the first payment service bank designed to fund financial services in Nigeria by providing creative and market driven solutions and address the need of the financially excluded people. 9PSB operates simple, convenient and reliable channels to conduct financial services.
“With our bank, customers can open any account they like from the comfort of their mobile phones and computer devices. There is no need for customers through all the convention procedures of opening a bank account 9PSB. 9PSB will be deployed as a channel for financial education for rural and low income consumers. This will enable them to conduct basic banking services such as cash in and cash out transactions.”
She added that her firm’s primary focus was to serve people in the rural areas with offerings that have been tailored for different environments and assured that the bank had taken
She added: “At 9PSB, we are aware of infrastructure and geographical coverage limitations. Our key mitigating strategy is to create synergies between agent banking as an important driver of financial inclusion and the superior product mix that we are offering.
“We strongly believe that this will address the paying points of the unbanked, under-banked and banked Nigerians by offering a compelling product and seamless execution of processes and excellent customer service. Financial innovation plays a sustainable role in fostering sustainable and equitable growth, primarily among the unbanked and under-banked within the rural areas in Nigerians.
“9PSB will drive financial inclusion in Nigeria especially among the youths and women across Nigeria, which is our goal at 9PSB. It is the difference we are committed to make in the Nigeria financial sector.”
Also, the Non-Executive Director, 9PSB, Mr. Phillips Oki said: “In terms of reach, we intend to reach over 6 million subscribers in our first year and the second year and beyond we expect our growth to be massive. And in terms of returns, the agents are going to benefit from good remuneration from commissions that cannot be compared to others in the industry meaning it would be very attractive.”
Speaking during a panel session, the Chief Executive Officer, Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), Ms. Ashley Immanuel said the launch was a step in the right direction in furthering financial inclusion.
She added: “The pandemic is an opportunity for the financial sector to respond to new ways of economic recovery. Digital financial services can play a very important role in economic recovery from the COVID-19. One of our recommendations to the CBN was to award licenses to the PSB as soon as possible.”
“I think there are many ways which PSB can support economic recovery, first is that the pandemic has highlighted the need to digitalise, and bring as many people as possible into the formal financial system which not only benefits individuals, but can also help to increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and job creation and other challenges we are facing. In addition to expanding reach to financial services, PSB can help people in rural areas access other solutions that they need for their households.”