Back in 2012 a survey conducted by Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFINA) indicated that 56.3 million adults, representing 64.1 per cent of the adult population in Nigeria, did not have bank accounts.
Around the same time Access Bank partnered Airtel Nigeria, to develop a mobile money value offering to try and address this need. The aim was not just to enhance financial inclusion but also offer Nigerians – regardless of their social status, income level, educational background or location – a convenient and easy outlet to perform financial transactions.
Dubbed Access Money, the new product, according to the two companies, will help bridge the wide divide between the banked and unbanked population in the country. It will help Nigerians who have access to mobile phones to perform financial transactions instantly and with great ease. Even rural dwellers in remote areas will not be left out as Access Money runs on basic handsets without data or Internet features.
Access Money empowers users to perform a wide range of financial activities on their mobile phones, including bill payments, airtime purchase, money transfer, card-less withdrawals from ATM and deposits, among others features, at the dial of *903#.
While not the first Mobile Money value offering in Nigeria, the service is unique is several ways according to its creators, with careful design and extensive research it was deliberately designed to be very simple and user-friendly.
Through Access Money, Access Bank and Airtel will be providing financial access to more and more people and small businesses; creating an easier channel for the distribution of financial aid; and also making it easier for government to receive taxes and deliver welfare payments.