By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
Etisalat Nigeria says its partnership with GTBank is a marriage of innovation and creativity, adding that it will help promote the financial inclusion drive of the federal government of Nigeria. The telco said its network was ready to accommodate additional subscribers that will certainly take advantage of the partnership to either sack their inefficient service providers by porting onto its network or buy a new subscriber identity module (SIM) card.
Known as the most innovative and fastest growing telecommunications company, Etisalat and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, a foremost financial institution in Africa partnered to introduce GTEasySavers, a savings account that is easy to open and easy to operate; designed to enable under-banked and unbanked individuals achieve their financial goals while operating a regular bank account via their mobile phones. This strategic partnership will enhance the service delivery of both brands and offer customers unparalleled lifestyle and loyalty benefits.
Registered subscribers of Etisalat network can conveniently open a GTEasySavers account by simply dialing a USSD short code – “737*0#” via their mobile phones, and a ten digit GTBank account number is sent via SMS immediately. Funding of the account can be done by cash deposits at Etisalat Experience Centers and GTBank branches; electronic transfers from other bank accounts; Cash Deposit ATMs at GTBank branches and GT Express Agent locations.
Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher who spoke on the occasion said, “This is a new chapter in the continuing growth of the banking industry made possible through GTEasySavers by GTBank and Etisalat Nigeria. Enabling account opening via an Etisalat phone will make it more convenient for individuals to carry out transactions using the transformative power of the banking system. Etisalat currently has the highest quality network in Nigeria and our partnership with GTBank is designed to add value to the lives of our customers and make banking more accessible. We will continue to offer innovative products and services in fulfillment of the promise we made to Nigeria over six years ago when we commenced operations in the country. The partnership will also begin a journey for unbanked customers from our over 22 million subscriber base.”
Managing Director and CEO of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje stated that “we are passionate about driving the CBN’s financial inclusion strategy in ensuring the under-banked and unbanked, begin to find the propositions of banking services more attractive and convenient and then take the bold step of patronizing our numerous bank products and offerings, a passion which we fully share with Etisalat Nigeria.”
The GTEasySavers account operates like a regular bank account and is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s financial inclusion strategy for the country. Transaction limits on the account is pegged at CBN’s Tier 1 KYC status limits of N20,000 for single deposits and maximum cumulative of N200,000 account balance at any point in time. Benefits for account holders include free airtime, higher interest rates on savings and quarterly rewards.
Customers who sign up for this account need not provide any initial documentation but can upgrade the status of their accounts to Tier 3 at any time, by simply visiting any GTBank branch with additional information/documentation, including a valid identification card and utility bill.