The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Jaiz Bank, Hassan Usman says that those who lack access to financial services would be allowed to open account without meeting certain requirements including Know Your Customer (KYC), presentation of utility bills and valid identification card amongst others.
This development is in accordance with the bank’s commitment to widen financial inclusion to unbanked population that lacks access to its financial services.
“These people don’t have that these requirements but the policy allows us to open accounts at that level,” Usman said.
The accounts would be opened as financial inclusion accounts and would be upgraded to the next level, he said.
“What we are trying to do is to use channels such as agency banking, our own branches and other digital avenues to allow as many people come on board and we would also empower them with little credit”, he added.
This new policy is expected kick off in Kastina and focus would be placed on female entrepreneurs and other micro businesses, and once it yields positive outcome, it would commence in other locations.
“We are aggressive in this area of financial inclusion. Our experience with the pilot so far is exiting because people like to be supported. The only challenge is in convincing beneficiaries that the money is not free, that it will have to be repaid. Everyone would like to be supported financially,” he said.
Speaking at the National Financial Literacy Stakeholders’ Conference in Abuja recently, he stated that the bank being a product of the financial inclusion policy would continue to provide non-interest banking to prospective customers in a bid to expand the coverage of financial services to the masses.
He said the financial institution had been part of the process of ensuring financial inclusion through agency banking and use of technology to reach the unbanked population.
In what signals as positive development towards the quest for financial inclusion, The Financial Inclusion Survey conducted by Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) last month, disclosed that financial inclusion rate rose to 63.6 percent in 2018 from 45.4 percent two years earlier.
The survey further unveiled that 63.3 million of Nigeria’s adult population of 99.6 million, have access to financial services, while 36.8 percent, which equalled 36.6 million are financially excluded.
The revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy aims to reduce the proportion of adult Nigerians that are financially excluded to 20 percent in the year 2020 from the baseline figure of 46.3 percent in 2010.