Tuesday, October 18, 2011

DIAMOND BANK PARTNERS PAGA TO OFFER BRANCHLESS FINANCIAL SERVICES IN NIGERIA

In line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s drive towards making Nigeria a cashless society, Diamond Bank has announced the signing of a formal partnership with the Central Bank licensed company Paga, to offer branchless financial services to Nigerian consumers. Diamond Bank and Paga have been working together on this initiative for nearly two years.

The partnership will make is possible for Diamond Bank customers to link their bank accounts to their Paga accounts - permitting them to perform transactions on Paga directly from their bank account. Customers will be able to perform a variety of transactions including money transfers and bill payments. Over time Diamond Bank will leverage Paga’s agent network to offer its banking products to the un-banked.

This will ultimately give Diamond Bank’s new and existing customers additional choice and access to the Bank. By linking their bank account to the Paga electronic wallet, customers will be able to move their money between the two systems freely and easily through their mobile phones. This will enable them to send payments around the country, pay their bills, buy airtime their mobile phones and make use of the large numbers of Paga agents situated around the country.

Speaking on the partnership, Dr Alex Otti, Group Managing Director of Diamond Bank, remarked “Diamond Bank is committed to delivering excellent banking services to its customers as well as devising new ways of reaching new customers. Expanding the reach of formal banking is vital to our long-term strategy and in due course Paga will allow us to reach a new segment of the population.”

Also commenting on the partnership, Mr Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga said “Paga aims to work with strong Banks and Microfinance Institutions who share our mission of bringing affordable financial services to the un-banked. Diamond Bank is a leader in retail banking and has been very innovative in thinking how to extend banking services to the un-banked. This partnership and others we will forge will help us achieve our goals and bring banking to the door step of every Nigerian.”

Mr. Garry Marsh, Senior Advisor Retail & Private Banking of Diamond Bank remarked “We have been on this journey with Paga for well over a year now. The selection of Paga is a result of the company consistently executing on its plans and proving to our team that not only do they have a robust platform but they are able to deliver. We look forward to working with Paga over the coming months and years, bringing financial services to the un-banked...”

Mr. Jay Alabraba, Paga Co-founder and Director of Sales & Business Development, added: “With over 59 million un-banked adults in Nigeria, finding new ways of reaching out to this market is a major challenge for Banks. There needs to be new ways of thinking and innovation in the banking sector. Diamond Bank is definitely ahead of the game in finding new ways of reaching customers. We applaud Diamond Bank for taking the bold first step towards delivering branchless financial services to the un-banked.

Paga works on the most basic SMS enabled phones and on all mobile networks, so users have the liberty to access their Paga account regardless of what handset or mobile network they use. Even more, recipients do not need to register on Paga in order to collect cash sent to them – they can simply visit a Paga agent and shortly – any Diamond bank branch or ATM to get their cash.

Adding Paga to its existing services is further evidence of Diamond Bank’s approach to Retail and Consumer Banking. “We believe in innovation. We believe in adding value to the lives of our customers. We believe in giving our customers choice. All of these things have been clearly exhibited through the years in our Credit Card offerings; our MSME and Xclusive Banking propositions and in our Savings products,” noted Garry Marsh.

This new partnership adds further value and supplements the service delivery channels already available to Diamond Bank customers with 220 branches around the country, 250 ATMs, internet and mobile banking services as well as a contact centre which is available 24/7.