Consultancy Firm Inaugurates Customised Cooperative PMC to Ease Financial Services
A financial consultancy firm, known as, Kajaura International Consults Ltd, has last weekend inaugurated a cooperative Prepaid Master Card (PMC) and Point of Sale (PoS) terminals, specifically designed for cooperative societies to ease access to financial services. It also eliminates and reduces the burden and risk of business transactions involving physical cash.
The PMCs and the PoS were inaugurated at the close of a two-day summit organised by Kajaura for Credit Cooperatives and Cooperative Credit Unions on access to finance, in Kaduna.
The Managing Director of the company, Dr Yakubu Abdalla, explained that the initiative was specifically designed to ease the difficulties of businessmen and women in accessing financial services, particularly in rural areas.
Abdalla said that the cards were being processed for the over 687 cooperatives, representing 1.82 million members that have registered with Kajaura for access to financial services, funding and markets.
He pointed out that, in spite of Central Bank of Nigeria’s push for financial inclusion in the country, about 80 per cent of Nigerians still do not have bank accounts; as such, they are excluded from the country’s financial system.
He said that there were millions of cooperative societies, credit cooperatives and cooperative credit unions mostly in rural areas with no financial institutions to carry out one form of transaction or the other.
“For example, people of Minchika in Adamawa State have to travel for about five hours to Yola to have access to a bank or the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) to either deposit or make withdrawals.
But with this cooperative prepaid master card, businessmen and women can make payments and withdrawals anywhere in the country, and in any part of the world, as part of CBN financial inclusion policy,’’ he said.
Abdalla said that the initiative was designed in partnership with e-transact known as Nabado, and Merchant and Agents Transaction Services (MATS) to take financial services to all nooks and crannies of the country.
He said that Nabado, an information and communication technology company, partners with Kajaura to process the master cards. E-transact make the cards, while MATS provides the PoS terminals and the agents’ services.
Nabado Business Development Group manager, Belinda Agbow, said that about 80 per cent of Nigerian economy is being driven by small and medium-scale enterprises.
“However, about 60 of the SMES are financially excluded, with no bank accounts, or no much money to service the accounts, even if they have one. The prepaid master card and the PoS will enable this class of people to access funds right at their doorsteps, particularly now that they are being processed to access the N220 billion CBN SMES fund,’’ Agbow said.
E-transact Head of Business Development, Mr Adeyemi Adeyemo, explained that the card will have the name of the holder and his cooperative society boldly written on it. “As such, it can serve as a form of identification or ATM card for making payments and withdrawals, even when the holder does not have a bank account,” Adeyemo said.
He said that the card holder can walk into any bank or PoS terminals to load money in the card and then use it to make payments via PoS, or withdraw money from ATM of any bank anywhere in the country.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, MATS, Kolapo Solesi, said that MATS has about 100 agents, providing financial services to Nigerians at a N100 commission through PoS and Kiosks.
“We hope to expand that number to 25,000 by incorporating credit cooperatives and credit unions as merchants and agents, through which the PoS would be deployed to all nooks and crannies of the country,’’ Solesi said.