In its bid to deepen the global drive for fi nancial inclusion, and with the recent launch of Ecobank Xpress Account, Ecobank Ghana has joined the club of its counterparts in more than 34 other countries that enjoy the innovative service around the world.
Sources close to the lender say the Xpress Money Promotion is aimed at encouraging existing customers and the public to actively use the Xpress Account for payments in place of cash transactions.
Ecobank Xpress Account is a self-service, real time, online digital account or wallet which is easily operated on the mobile phone. With a registered SIM, the public can download the Ecobank Mobile App, open an Ecobank Xpress Account instantly and start transacting.
Alternatively, users of feature phones can simply dial *770# for the same service.Once opened, the customers’ phone numbers become their bank account numbers. Speaking at the launch of the promotion, Mr Daniel Sackey, Managing Director Ecobank Ghana, said financial inclusion of the unbanked and under banked segment of the population was key to unlocking their participation in the economy.
He explained that there was therefore, the need to provide the required incentives and an enabling financial environment to ensure a cash-lite economy, financial inclusion and sustained economic growth.
According to Mr Sackey, in line with modern banking practice and in order to encourage its numerous digital clients, most of whom live within the under-banked and unbanked informal segments of the market, the Ecobank Xpress Account is not only free, attracting no charges for the user but is also an interest-bearing account, and offering competitive interest rates.
“Let’s come together to help change the payment attitudes and behaviours of fellow Ghanaians. Cash-based transactions remain a huge burden and we need to be resolute in the pursuit of this transformational agenda. “Currently, you can withdraw or deposit money into your Xpress account from any of the more than 1,500 designated Ecobank Xpress Point locations around the country. You can also send and receive money to and from any bank account or mobile money wallet in Ghana as well as send and receive money across the 34 countries we operate within Africa,” Sackey added.
How to win
To qualify for the weekly draws, the public is required to open Ecobank Xpress Account, deposit GH¢50 through transfers from existing bank accounts or from mobile money wallets. Every deposit of GH¢50 will give the customer a point in the draw and give him the chance of winning prizes within the three months promotion period from December 2018 to March 8, 2019.
Mr Tara Squire, Regional Head Consumer Banking, said the promotion was to reward as many customers as possible in instant rewards, airtime benefits and cash rewards up to GH¢10,000.
He said in all more than 70,000 customers would win the GH¢500,000 prizes at stake over the three months promotion period. Squire encouraged existing and potential customers to participate in the promotion.
In response questions o how this new product plays in the mobile money ecosystem that the product complements government’s urge to ensure a cashlite society and advance the course of mobile money interoperability.
According to Squire, the launch is a mass drive aimed at encouraging customers and the public to use the Ecobank Xpress Account for payments in place of cash transactions. Non-customers are encouraged to open the Ecobank Xpress Account instantly, fund it and use it for transactions for cash prizes.
Around Africa, the upgraded version of Ecobank’s revolutionary new mobile app has attracted 3 million new customers in just 6 months, taking the total number of users to 4 million.
The app builds on the core functionality that saw the original version applauded as a game changer for African banking by using digital technology to combat many of the financial inclusion barriers faced by those on the continent. This includes the dearth of rural branches, affordability of products, high transaction costs and minimum opening balance requirements.
Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group CEO, recently said that Ecobank’s strategic mission was built around using mobile banking to deliver innovative, efficient and cost-effective services to those who have typically sat outside of the formal economy, and therefore goes far beyond the reach of the traditional branch and ATM networks.
Subsequently, while the app won one million customers in its fi rst year of launch, upgraded features have seen the rate of sign-ups treble in half of the time. So far this year, app usage has been growing at an average 700k new customers per month.
“Customers can use the app on their mobile to instantly open Ecobank Xpress Account, which doesn’t have any account fees, paperwork or minimum balance requirements, or to send and receive money across 33 African countries,” he explains.
“Therefore, our app not only removes the barriers that have financially excluded so many Africans but offers next generation functionality to help them send money, make withdrawals or pay for goods and services.” Patrick Akinwuntan, Ecobank’s Group Executive, Consumer Banking, says that Ecobank is committed to providing all Africans with access to financial services, but doing so in a way that conjoins functionality with convenient, accessible and efficient banking channels, such as the rollout of Ecobank Xpress ™ Point Agents.
“We want to be the digital bank of choice for all Africans,” he said. “Functionality is one thing – giving our customers unrivalled convenience is another. The Ecobank Xpress Point Agents that can now be found in your local neighbourhood enable you to deposit money into your app-based Ecobank Xpress Account and begin to make digital payments on the app using Ecobankpay.
You can also withdraw funds in local currency that may have been sent to you from friends or relatives using our innovative instant transfer or Xpress Cash capabilities.”
The Ecobank Mobile App is available for download from the Google Play Store or Apple Store