Brussels-based World Savings and Retail Banking Institute, WSBI and Cignifi have entered into partnership with Airtel to develop and test-market an innovative mobile savings product targeted at undeserved and dormant savers.
The product will be tested in partnership with Airtel Ghana and WSBI member HFC Bank Ghana. Airtel is the world’s third largest mobile telecommunications company with over 305 million subscribers across 20 countries including India, where it is the largest cellular service provider.
HFC Bank is a leading universal bank in Ghana whose services include commercial banking, investment banking, mortgage banking and micro-finance. The partners recently completed a pilot project that showed that mobile phone usage is an effective predictor of a consumer?s savings behavior.
Jonathan Hakim, President and CEO of Cignifi said, their pilot project clearly showed a correlation between mobile phone habits and banking behavior, and presented them with an opportunity to develop a mobile savings product specifically designed to help banks engage with and grow their customer base.
The product, according to them, which they are developing in partnership with Cignifi will help WSBI strengthen its leadership position in the use of new technology to promote financial inclusion.
Chris de Noose, Managing Director of WSBI also pointed out that they foresee the mobile savings product becoming a direct contributor to financial inclusion in Ghana, and as a model for WSBI member banks to replicate in other markets.
However, Lucy Quist, Managing Director of Airtel Ghana indicated that, ?We are pleased that Airtel Money is the mobile platform of choice for this innovative concept of driving adoption for new types of mobile savings products based on subscriber behavior?. She added that the strategic partnership demonstrates Airtel?sleadership in developing valuable solutions and driving innovation in Ghana?s mobile finance industry. ?Our common aim is to provide secure connections and tailor-made value propositions.?
Mr. Asare Akuffo, Managing Director of HFC Bank said:?We are delighted about this strategic partnership to develop innovative mobile savings products. The choice of HFC Bank out of the 28 commercial banks in Ghanaconfirms our focus on banking for small and medium sized enterprises. We believe that this mobile savings product will help nurture a savings culture, enable the bank to engage better with Ghana?s informal sector and growour customer and deposit base.?