In vanguard of financial inclusion to address the unbanked populace, Ecobank has introduced Xpress Cash, a mobile phone that allows customers to withdraw cash from any Ecobank ATM using e-Tokens generated from the Ecobank Mobile app.
The e-token generated can also be redeemed at agent locations within any of Ecobank’s 33 territories across middle Africa. Additionally, customers can send e-tokens to third parties via SMS, email or social media.
Ecobank Group CEO, Ade Ayeyemi said, innovating for customer convenience is in our DNA. “We have developed this fast, convenient and innovative mobile banking solution –cardless Xpress Cash at our ATMs and Agencies to embed our digital platforms within the lifestyle of our customers and improve the uptake of digital financial solutions by both banked and unbanked in Africa.”
World Bank data indicates that in sub-Saharan Africa only 34 per cent of adults had a bank account in 2014, up from 24 per cent in 2011.
However, according to the Global System Mobile Association (GSMA) report – The Mobile Economy Sub-Saharan Africa 2017, at the end of 2016, there were 420 million unique mobile subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa. This accounts for almost 10% of the global mobile subscriber base, and is expected to exponentially grow.
Ecobank’s Group Executive for Consumer Banking, said Patrick Akinwuntan added: “Ecobank is known across Africa for leveraging the mobile phone to deliver instant bank accounts, transfers and payments to our customers. We are taking this to another level by giving our customers the opportunity to withdraw cash on our ATMs using their phones. What this means is that your phone is your access to cash. It is your bank in your pocket. That’s powerful. That’s freedom. That’s inclusion for all.”
In a recent interview, the Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Charles Kie had said that the pan-Africa bank was focused on being a market leader, especially as the banking industry transits to the digital space, described as the future.
According to Kie “Let me be very clear on this, the app is just one channel out of many that we are using to support the financial institution. When we are talking about enhancing the digitisation of our platforms, what exactly do we have in mind? What do typically customers go to branches to do? They either go to deposit money or they either go to withdraw money. Today, frankly, why would someone go into a branch – to withdraw money or to transfer money. This is why ATMs were put together in most places to allow customers to just withdraw without having to go into the branches.
On September 5, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, ETI, the Lome-based parent company of the Ecobank Group, signed a five-year senior unsecured loan facility of $250 million from Deutsche Bank AG. The Public Investment Company (PIC) of South Africa, one of the major institutional shareholders of ETI, is providing full credit support to Deutsche Bank in this transaction via a sub–participation of risk. The $250 million new facility will be used primarily to refinance maturing facilities.