Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) and Etisalat have formed a strategic alliance aimed at connecting 55 million unbanked Nigerians in the next few months, through the mobile payment system, that will enable them open a Tier 1 bank account, using their mobile phones. Announcing the initiative in Lagos last week, both organisations said the partnership would drive financial inclusion in the country, as championed by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Given the estimated population of over 170 million Nigerians, and with the recent statistics that 85 million out of the 170 million Nigerians are adults and that only 30 million out of the 85 million adult Nigerians own bank accounts with various banks, GTBank and Etisalat have assured Nigerians that they would be able to connect the remaining 55 million Nigerian adults that are without bank accounts. Both firms would help them open account without stress, in the next few months, through their mobile payment initiative.
Bolaji Lawal, Head of e-Business at GTBank, who blamed the huge gap that exists between the banked and unbaked Nigerians, on the issue of financial documentation, which he said, has deprived many adult Nigerians from enjoying the benefits of banking. He however explained that the initiative borne of the partnership between GTBank and Etisalat, would remove the barrier of documentation, which now make it easy for Nigerians to own bank accounts via their mobile phones, without visiting the banks. Guaranty Trust Bank and Etisalat Nigeria have partnered to introduce GTEasySavers, a savings account that is easy to open and easy to save, designed to enable under banked and unbanked individuals achieve their financial goals, while operating a regular bank account, via their mobile phone.
The strategic alliance, which will enhance service delivery of both brands, will offer customers, unparalleled lifestyle and loyalty benefits. Speaking on the partnership, Segun Agbaje, Managing Director of GTBank, said: “We are passionate about driving the CBN’s financial inclusion strategy in ensuring the under-banked and unbanked, begin to find the propositions of banking services more attractive and convenient and then take the bold step of patronising our numerous bank products and offerings, a passion which we fully share with Etisalat Nigeria. “This is a new chapter in the continuing growth of the banking industry, made possible through GTEasySavers by GTBank and Etisalat Nigeria. Enabling account opening via an Etisalat phone, will make it more convenient for individuals to carryout transactions, using the transformative power of the banking system,” Matthew Willsher, CEO at Etisalat, said.
He added, “We will continue to offer innovative products and services in fulfillment of the promise we made to Nigeria over six years ago when we commence operations in the country. The partnership will also begin a journey for unbanked customers from our over 22 million subscriber base.” Registered subscribers of Etisalat network can conveniently open a GTEasySavers account by simply dialing a short codec *737*0# via their mobile phones and a ten digit GTBank account number is sent via SMS immediately. Funding of the account can be done be done by cash deposits at Etisalat Experience Centres and GTBank branches; electronic transfers from otter bank accounts; cash deposit ATMs at GTBank branches and GTBank Express Agent locations.