It’s a fact widely known and accepted that I am a huge fan of digital technology and innovation. Diamond Bank, where I serve as the CEO has over the years been the foundation for bringing my expertise and passion to its best use. Today it gives me enough pride to state with confidence that our bank’s digital presence and platform is outstanding, nothing less than any global bank. That is something that I am definitely very jubilant and content with. But there’s something else that makes Diamond Bank more than any other successful financial institution. In my capacity as CEO for Diamond Bank, we have not only been contributing to the economic growth and development of Nigeria but also towards the economic empowerment of women and their inclusion in financial affairs. On the celebratory occasion of International Women’s Day, it gives me great pleasure to announce the collaboration between Diamond Bank, MTN and Women’s World Banking for introducing the next phase of Diamond Y’ello Account.
So, though the partnership and the occasion are overlapping, this is not something that has occurred out of the blue. Diamond Y’ello Account was introduced in 2014, and we have over 5 million subscribers as of now. Also this partnership for making digital financial services easy and convenient for low-income women has the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation making it a cause worth the effort and time.
What the Partnership is About
At Diamond Bank we believe that we have a duty towards the society and country we live in. We are very committed towards the financial well being of women in this country. Our partnership therefore is aimed at enhancing the financial lifestyle women by making mobile banking services agreeable and convenient to them. We know that banking and most other services will go totally digital in future and hence want to start early, by introducing everyone to digital banking irrespective of location or size of their income.
The Purpose behind the Partnership
Diamond Y’ello is a mobile based bank account that does not require documentation and stringent banking procedures that traditional banking calls for, and is available to MTN’s 63 million subscriber base! It’s one of a kind service that promotes full-service banking operations over mobile phones and assists in spreading financial literacy among people.
Women’s World Banking on the other hand has research and statistical proof to explain that women are inherently skilled at saving almost 10-15% of their income, irrespective of how low or unpredictable income is. Additionally considering the varying challenges that often confront women such as time and mobility, it is likely that they are confused about where to save their money, when and how.
Our partnership is the solution to all of that. Our Diamond Y’ello Accounts can now reach a wider audience base across urban, semi-urban and remote areas. Our existing and prospective women customers will now have a safe place to save their income, and they don’t even have to invest too much time in it, since all is online based.
What our Partners stand to Gain
This partnership is certainly aligned to our Bank’s over mission and goals – both in terms of purpose and business. But what do the other partners stand to gain from it?
Well, since it’s a partnership, each has a lot to gain – in terms of their vision and mission.
For Women’s World Banking this collaboration will open new doors for in-depth research on the hurdles Nigerian women face in terms of access to financial services. The collaboration will help them to develop new and improved strategies to find effective solutions to these challenges. Education, training programs for banking agents, mobile tools are certainly in their radar, and I am sure with time they will come up with other applicable solutions as well.
MTN as a leader in telecommunication requires little introduction and collaboration to this cause only strengthens their commitment to socio-economic growth. While at the outset this collaboration looks like a strategic move to make formal access to banking more convenient for women, its inherent objective is to responsibly use technology to diminish poverty.
The objective of technology is to simplify life. This is all the more for women who already have to bear the hardship of financial challenges. This partnership will help them to save more systematically and timely, without disrupting their regular activities. Since technology keeps the whole transaction process from opening accounts to making payments, digital, it is possible for women to plan and track all their financial moves.
Powered by technology this partnership is towards building a more vibrant, stable and powerful economy. Women form an enormous part of our demography and failure to tap them is only a sign of not utilizing our potential. As the ex US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton puts it – “Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world.” And that’s exactly what our partnership will tap into in the future.