Leading retail bank, Diamond Bank PLC, has launched an innovative banking product, Diamond Y’ello, as part of its financial inclusion programme to reach the unbanked.
The Diamond Y’ello Account, which is run in partnership with mobile telecommunications giant, MTN Nigeria, is a hybrid account that offers the over 58 million MTN subscribers a fusion of financial services and telecoms incentives such as money transfer and withdrawal, account statements confirmation and airtime purchase amongst a host of available features and benefits.
Speaking at the launch of the account, Dr Alex Otti, GMD/CEO, Diamond Bank PLC, said the Diamond Y’ello Account is part of the bank’s strategic programme to reach the unbanked population with innovative and easily accessible financial solutions.
According to Dr. Otti: “The Nigerian banking industry is over a hundred years old, but can only boast of only about 40 million bank accounts. In the 14years of mobile telephony in Nigeria, the telcos have grown a robust subscriber base of 120 million customers and still counting. That is why we decided to partner with one of the trusted and most extensive networks to bring our banking services closer to people who would like to bank with us but are limited by challenges within their environment.
Explaining the rationale, Dr. Otti explains further: “What we have done is to make banking more accessible to Nigerians. To open a Diamond Y’ello account, a customer only needs to have a registered MTN line and by dialing the short code *710#, the subscriber gets a full NUBAN account number delivered by SMS to his mobile phone within minutes”.
The Diamond Y’ello Account is open to all. The Youth and Mass Market segments of the MTN subscriber base as well as the unbanked and under-banked subscribers are especially invited to take advantage of the favourable account opening requirements and convenient features of the service.”
Speaking at the event, CEO of MTN Nigeria, Mike Ikpoki disclosed that the Diamond Y’ello idea is driven by a commitment from Diamond Bank and MTN to ensure that technology is used to make life easier for people.
He said: “Technology is a tool that should make life easier for people. This product is simple and accessible to all customers on our network.”
Lending his support to the partnership, Dr. Pascal Dozie, Founder, Diamond Bank Plc and Chairman, MTN Nigeria, said that Diamond Y’ello is a hybrid account produced by two outstanding companies in their separate industries.
He said: The partnership between Diamond Bank PLC and MTN Nigeria is in support of government policies. The Diamond Y’ello Account will strengthen the cashless policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria. It will also provide gainful employment for Nigerians and other stakeholders.”
Every MTN subscriber hasaccess to a Diamond Y’ello Account with benefits which include: easy access to open and operate a bank account through the subscriber’s mobile phone or agent network within the customer’s community, full bank services with interest payments on account balances and fund transfer services to any bank account in Nigeria.