Three major players in the Nigerian economy say they are joining forces to explore mobile banking stakes among an estimated 110 million unbanked population in the country.
Alex Otti, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank, one of the collaborating companies, said their alliance will deepen the nation’s cashless initiative, “considering that only about 40 million out of the estimated over 150 million Nigerians have been banked.”
Under the plan, Nigerian technology company, Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) Plc has extended the MTN XaaS platform to power the Diamond Y’ello Account in collaboration with Diamond Bank and MTN Nigeria, in what they say will “further push the cashless policy initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).”
MTN XaaS, which was launched in 2012, provides cloud-based banking services and runs on indigenous software from Computer Warehouse.
Diamond Y’ello Account is a mobile banking product built on MTN Xaas platform that lets subscribers of the mobile phone company, including the unbanked and under-banked populace in Nigeria, get access to banking services from Diamond Bank.
The Diamond Y’ello Account allows automatic account opening just at the dial of *710# by all MTN subscribers presently exceeding over 58.4 million customers.
The bank expects that the service will let millions of Nigerians who have mobile phones but are alienated from banking activities due to procedures to seamlessly key into the formal banking system.
Also commenting on the development, James Agada, Chief Technology Officer of Computer Warehouse Group Plc said that “this technology and many others in the pipeline which include our SMERP platform, our PosApp solution and our teleport services all form part of the CWG 2.0 initiative where CWG is working with several partners to deploy solutions and services to the wider MSME and consumer markets. The teleport services have been announced with SES and will democratize digital broadcasting in Nigeria. Partners like MTN and Diamond bank are making these initiatives real. We expect CWG 2.0 to be a transformative program for not just CWG Plc but also the entire Nigerian economy”
Also speaking at the launch, Michael Ikpoki, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria said the telecommunications outfit was ready to absorb the anticipated surge into her digital solutions, allaying fears of disruptions.
Austin Okere, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CWG Plc had during the launch of MTN XaaS in 2012 noted that the platform was just one of the technology platforms that CWG will develop for business operation enhancement. “This is the beginning of so many innovations we are going to unveil. We are going to look at hospitals, hotels, insurance and all those who are locked out of being able to provide competitive services due to IT deficiency and develop suitable technology that will enhance their business growth. CWG and MTN will break the barrier.”