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CFR | New Tools Increase Women’s Financial Inclusion in Nigeria
December 1, 2016
By Gayle Lemmon
Our BETA Savings project with Diamond Bank (Nigeria) is highlighted:
In an effort to reverse the growing gender gap among Nigeria’s unbanked, the private and public sectors have begun to harness digital technology to overcome the barriers preventing Nigerian women from opening bank accounts.
One such innovative financing tool is the digital BETA savings account. Launched by Diamond Bank in partnership with Women’s World Banking in 2013, BETA savings accounts relieve customers of needing to go to a physical bank branch to open and operate an account. Rather, “BETA Friends” – female bank agents – attend open-air markets with mobile devices, enabling women to setup accounts and make deposits and withdrawals without having to leave their stalls.
Significantly, women can open BETA savings accounts without documentation or minimum balance requirements thanks to Nigeria’s tiered Know Your Customer Requirements (KYC), which enables Diamond Bank to open low-value accounts with basic personal information. Since its launch, BETA has reached more than 275, 000 clients.
Following the success of BETA, Diamond Bank launched BETA Target Savers Accounts – another innovative digital product designed to increase women’s financial inclusion. These accounts enable women to save for specific goals, such as financing child birth or a child’s education, likewise employing BETA Friends to facilitate the process for women. Diamond Bank also permits women to take out loans without having to provide collateral through the BETA Kwik Loan, a service that operates via BETA technology.