In a bid to deliver financial inclusion to unbanked individuals nationwide, Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), has announced the release of an Innovation Grant in the sum of $1,500,000 (One million, five hundred thousand US Dollars only), to support Diamond Bank’s Diamond Y’ello: ‘Winning the North’ project.
Diamond Y’ello is a mobile based savings account launched by Diamond Bank in partnership with MTN to make financial services easily accessible for individuals excluded from the formal banking ecosystem. The project allows customers with active MTN lines to open a bank account with Diamond Bank from the convenience of their homes and it is expected to introduce additional channels of customer interactions including an interactive voice responder (IVR), bill payments platform, card-less ATMs, micro loans and insurance. Diamond Bank, in partnership with MTN will have agents within each community to conduct deposits and withdrawals on the Diamond Bank account.
The EFInA Innovation Grant will enable Diamond Bank target and extend facilities to prospective customers in Northern Nigeria –Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara and BornoStates.
The Chief Executive Officer of EFInA, Chidinma Lawanson, stated that, “The Diamond Y’ello Account project seeks to drive financial inclusion by addressing the barrier of proximity to financial services through digital financial services and agent banking, while also serving as an effective means of deepening financial literacy nationally. This aligns with EFInA’s objectives to increase access to financial products and services to the low income population, especially women. According to the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 survey, the North East and North West geopolitical zones have more financially excluded people than the other geopolitical zones. In that regard, we look forward to our partnership with Diamond Bank to extend financial services in Northern Nigeria.”
Furthermore, she said, “the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 survey revealed that 57.1 million adults have never had a deposit money bank account, 16.3% indicated that they did not operate an account because commercial banks were far away from them. The study also found out that 42.7% of women are financially excluded as compared to 35.8% of the men. We believe this project will go a long way to correct these anomalies.”
According to Uzoma Dozie, Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank Plc, Diamond Y’ello is structured to make affordable financial services available to everyone regardless of their level of income.
He said ,“Diamond Y’ello is an account you open without the documentation and other rigors associated with traditional accounts. We are aware that the future of financial inclusion is digital, and we aim to use this product to bring banking to everyone no matter your income, where you live or the type of mobile handset you are using.”
According to him, Diamond Bank expects that the Diamond Y’ello will provide easy access to a broad range of financial products to the un(der)bankedpopulation, designed according to their needs, at an affordable cost. With Diamond Y’ello accounts, customers are able to make all types of payments, save and make retail collection, microcredit and insurance transactions.
Through this Innovation Grant, EFInA aims to promote financial inclusion through market development by enabling provision of appropriate financial products and services at an affordable price to those who are currently financially excluded.