In our current world, access to financial services is rapidly becoming an essential issue for policymakers because it has broad economic consequences. Financial inclusion has gained more importance because of its significance as a driver of economic growth. It is essential to achieve the goal of achieving an inclusive economy.
The year 2012 was when Nigeria began to take significant actions in the direction of its development through the launch of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS). The primary goal of the NFIS is to ensure that 80 % of Nigerian adults are financially affluent by the year 2020. Before this, the official utilization of financial services among adults was 36.3 percent in 2010. To reach the 2020 objective, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) launched strategies to increase technological innovation in the financial services segment in Nigeria, and, by the year 2017, one of the outcomes is that CBN had granted more than 20 licenses to mobile cash operators who are now 21.
According to data from 2018 by Enhancing the Financial Innovators and Access (EFInA), 38.1 million of Nigeria’s 106 million (18 years old and over) adults, or 36 percent of Nigerians, are financially deprived.
In a recent survey conducted by Agusto and Co. regarding Consumer Digital Banking, only 34 percent of respondents claimed to have used the services that digital banking banks provide. Only 17 percent of those over 55 have been informed about the offerings, and for those aged 41-54, the rate of awareness was at 31 percent. This highlights the need for a more profound financial inclusion initiative for Nigeria’s hopes to meet the NFIS goals and speed up economic growth.
The Apex bank might not have met the 2020 goal of 80% Financial inclusion but has a higher chance of achieving the goal of 95 percent by 2024. Industry players have suggested reaching the NFIS goals of inclusive economic growth. The financial industry should use technologies (mobile and digital channels) to increase financial inclusion and increase access to financial services for the under-served and unbanked segments that comprise the majority of people.
One of the banks that continues to utilize technology to revive the business through its massive resources and extensive networks to increase financial inclusion across Nigeria for sustainable economic growth. Heritage Bank Plc, Nigeria’s most innovative provider of banking services.
The MD and CEO of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, said that banks couldn’t promote financial inclusion unless they promoted secure technology inclusion.
According to his account, Heritage Bank has continued to increase financial integration across all sectors by providing access to funds and other financial products such as savings, mobile money systems, and payment systems that create opportunities for financially marginalized Nigerians and micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises.
We introduce HB API Sandbox & Banking as a service through One Pipe.
The Bank has launched the API Sandbox to speed up the development of entrepreneurs in technology to develop unique and economically viable products, which were created via HB LAB. The platform offers a range of non-financial and financial APIs specifically designed to meet the requirements of FinTech, Tech SMEs, and Communities. Our APIs allow tech companies, third-party developers, and companies that are not Fintech access to multiple payment options and financial services needed by their clients.
In the wake of the launch of the HB’s API Sandbox in the summer of 2016, the Bank has partnered with API aggregator Companies to provide its API offerings to a larger public, integrating their value-added offerings to offer a BaaS platform. Banks as a Service (BaaS/Open Banking) is a full-time business model that lets FinTech and other service providers from third parties provide core financial services to their clients by integrating with the Bank by using our widely accessible APIs. It is billed services that provide the relevant information and insights needed to aggressively acquire retail accounts by using the aggregator’s extensive pipeline of retail prospects.
Digital banking redefined by “Octiplus,”
Sekibo stated that the Bank would continue to promote financial inclusion with a powerful modern, creative, and innovative digital banking service, “Octopus,” which is just introduced.
Octopus is a non-bank app for digital banking that is all-in-one that gives customers access to a range of lifestyle, financial and social networking options along with the added benefit of consolidating card-based payment options in one app, regardless of the Bank that issued the card. Nigerian Bank. Ifie Sekibo, the CEO of Oculus, said the following “with Octiplus, we are reinventing the idea of digital banking to the mobile-savvy customer who is discerning and the app comes packed with innovative features that reaffirm the bank’s desire to improve its digital structure and modernize their interactions with public banking regardless of your preferred bank.”
Octopus promises an innovative Omni-channel experience that enhances the typical transactional features like the ability to pay bills, transfer funds, and airtime recharge. It also has the unique capability to facilitate personal or group interaction, which can help small businesses and an exciting side hustle, especially for young people. The app is available for download from both Google and iOS App Stores.
The young ones are in the best shape with BUD Accounts HB.
HB Bud account serves as a savings account designed for children and those in the younger age group that aims to introduce financial literacy and inclusivity. The report is opened as a trust account for children by a parent or guardian who is the account holder operating the account until the child reaches adulthood. They can then use their accounts and possibly transfer to other appropriate arrangements for their age. The product was first introduced in 2014 to create a unique concept that caters to the needs of the children and young adults in preparing for and saving to further their education, in addition to increasing the brand’s visibility and increasing the market share of the Bank. However, specific operational requirements and regulatory frameworks have required the adjustment and modification of the product to meet the clients’ needs optimally. Children and teens aged 18 to 0 are the main target customers.
The features are unique: Access to cash-backed loan by parent/guardian/sponsor for school fees/education loan. You can access up to 70% of your balance by the Bank as a cash-backed loan. The borrower must have had through the BUD account for at least six months to be eligible for the loan backed by cash. Savings through standing order instruction. Exclusive events. Participation at no cost in the BUD MINI career mentorship and coaching sessions every year. Possibility to serve as a Heritage Bank Executive Committee member for a day.
Catering to the unbanked through the HB Starter Product
The Bank’s most popular CBN KYC Tier 1 savings account caters to the people who are not banked. It is a level 1 entry into the savings account category in Nigeria, which an individual can open without having the mandatory requirements/documents to open a standard or regular account in Nigeria. This ensures that every citizen of Nigeria is financially secure, as funds can be open using either a phone in the Bank or online. This kind of savings account does not require any utility bills or even an identification card to be opened.
People who fall into this category don’t think about opening an account as they believe it is easier to keep the funds they have in their homes. These people want to stay clear of the lengthy manual process of opening a new account and better time management. This product is exact and only requires minimal documents for opening accounts, and it can be completed in the privacy of your home. Bank’s sales and relationship managers will also assist customers. Additionally, customers can log on to the website of the Bank to begin the new account opening process right from the beginning and get their bank account’s number towards the close of the procedure.
This product is targeted at individuals in all segments of the market.
It is also called HB Individual Current Account. This is a checking account that is open to everyone over 18 years old. The performance is effortless with special features for people’s access to products for loans, including a minimum balance of N0.00 There is no COT on any transaction, an opening balance of 5,000, and access to a clearing checkbook.
The payment gateway can be customized for HB CheckOut or Virtual Accounts.
Heritage CheckOut is a fully integrated payment processing system that provides the infrastructure to process digital payments across Africa. Olusola Longe-Okenimkpe, Divisional Director, E-Business & Collections, disclosed that the platform offers an in-built technology platform that permits companies to accept and process payments from any location across the globe, using an integrated fraud management system that is robust compliance, security, and applications.
She also described Virtual Accounts as a series of off-balance accounts whose total balance mirrors that of the balance of the account for the pool. According to Olusola, that account in the collection is connected to all virtual accounts, and the balance of the pool account mirrors the total balance of those accounts.
Opportunities for those who are financially excluded HB Business Account
Heritage Bank Business Account Heritage Bank Business Account is an efficient current account that gives you flexibility, affordability, and a transparent pricing grid based on the monthly debit turnover covenant. The account is targeted to the entire Micro and Small Enterprises spectrum in the SME and Retail sectors.
Ensures a seamless transaction with the HB transfer code
Transfer code 745# from Heritage bank will allow you to use your phone seamlessly and eases the burden of visiting an office at Heritage bank to pay. Like many other financial institutions, it is possible to use Heritage bank’s online banking number, which is *745#. You can use it to verify your account balance, Transfer money to Heritage bank or any other bank to pay the cable and utility bill, and even pay for church services wherever you’re using your phone.
Capturing the educational sector via Alumni Banking service, Acadia Portal Solution
To further attract people in the educational field to the financial inclusion market, Heritage Bank unveiled the Alumni Banking Service and Acadia Portal Solution, which are web-based solutions that seamlessly connect the portal of the school and Alumni platforms to benefit diverse stakeholders and aid in implementing the most effective worldwide practices for school management. Alumni Banking is an educational service offered provided by Heritage Bank that seeks to use and track, be involved in, endow and create a system to assist secondary and tertiary education institutions in developing modern alumni systems that improve their financial stability, just as excellent alumni do at the world’s top schools.
Inclusion of the creative industry E-sports gaming on accounts with HB INSPIRE
The INSPIRE account is a service designed specifically for the creative industry, which is not just populated by young people in film and video but also musicians. It is beyond that, as it includes people working in technology and creative industries and gaming as a part of the creative business.
Speaking to the media regarding the gaming initiative as a creative endeavor, Dike Dimitri, Heritage Bank Regional Executive, Lagos, and South-West, said that the purpose of Heritage Bank is to discover potential income-generating opportunities for certain people within the economy.
According to the source, “HB has designed a product that can identify and find an instrument that can guide Nigerians in gaming or electronic sports. The Bank will change the face of e-sports by bringing it to a level that is achievable through lawn tennis, football, and other games that attract crowds.”
Heritage Bank is fast changing the stories of the banking sector by implementing more secure technological innovations (product and channel) to provide seamless services that ensure that the more significant part of the population is involved in economic activities and financially part of the equation.
To make this effective, Sekibo said that people need access to financial products and services that assure that businesses and households, regardless of income level, can access and effectively utilize the financial tools they need to enhance their lives and increase their savings and investment.
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