First City Monument Bank (FCMB) is partnering with one of the emerging forces in the Fintech ecosystem, Jamborrow. This partnership aims to fast-track the financial inclusion of millions of Nigerians who live in rural areas.
In 2012, the Central Bank of Nigeria set a target to attain a financial inclusion rate of 80% by 2020. The CBN fell short of its target. Only 64% of Nigerians enjoyed access to financial services at the end of 2020. The challenge of extending financial services to more Nigerians must be won in the rural areas. According to a report by EFInA, while about 71% of adults in urban communities have bank accounts, only about 40% of those in rural areas have bank accounts.
Some gains have no doubt been made but there is still a lot of work to be done for the National Financial Inclusion Strategy to achieve its aim. With the CBN now setting its sights on a 95% inclusion rate by the end of 2040, experts have advised that the country’s financial services stakeholders need to set their focus on rural areas.
As part of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), the CBN identified barriers to financial inclusion from the supply and demand sides. Some of these barriers include high rates of employment and low incomes, low literacy levels, and long distance to financial institutions’ branches or service agents.
The lack of trust in financial service providers is also a factor. For people in rural areas, long distance to financial institutions is a major factor. About 60% of rural communities in Nigeria don’t have access to financial access points such as bank branches, ATMs, or bank agents.
To solve this critical problem of Nigerians in rural areas that are poorly served by financial institutions, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) is partnering with one of the emerging forces in the Fintech ecosystem, Jamborrow. This partnership aims to fast-track the financial inclusion of millions of Nigerians who live in rural areas.
Jamborrow uses technology to ease the provision of financial services to people without financial profiles
Jamborrow is a fintech company whose major focus is the unbanked population of Africa numbering over 400 million people. The company, founded by two Nigerians, Moses Onitilo (CTO) and Olusegun George (CEO). It is a B2B company that uses blockchain technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to gather information on financial transactions and build financial profiles, including KYC data, on the unbanked and people in the informal sectors of the economy.
Jamborrow makes the data easily accessible to a range of third-party financial institutions such as traditional lenders, co-operatives, and agricultural and micro-finance banks, thus enabling them to serve the unbanked.
Jamborrow also provides proprietary financial products and social and economic development solutions to customers. In 2020, the company raised $400,000 to serve its market, i.e. hitherto financially invisible people in Africa. Jamborrow also partnered with Octamille technology to provide insurance services for rural dwellers in African communities. The partnership with FCMB is the latest in a series to drive financial inclusion in underserved Nigerian communities.
About Partnership with FCMB
In a press release, Jamborrow announced the partnership with FCMB. The Fintech company will use its technology and experience to enable FCMB onboard and provide financial services to unbanked people in rural communities.
According to Olusegun George, CEO of Jamborrow,
“Strategic partnerships like these will continue to bolster and fortify our efforts to alleviate poverty and improve the lives of citizens across the developing world by providing an accessible ecosystem to promote economic and financial inclusion. FCMB, a leading institution in the SME and MSME segment, will add instant value to our mission by providing first-class financial services to our clientele across several verticals to boost trade and growth with our technology.”
The Managing Director of FCMB also commented,
“We are pleased to partner with Jamborow, a leading FinTech company, to address some of the challenges facing people in rural and peri-urban areas, particularly access to financial services. This intervention promotes inclusiveness and would allow disadvantaged people and communities to enjoy financial services and improve their lives through enhanced economic activities. At FCMB, we will continue to champion and execute initiatives that enrich lives in our local communities by creating opportunities that empower individuals and businesses to become their very best.”
According to the press release, the partnership is in line with Goals 1, 5, 8, and 9 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goal 1 is about eradicating poverty, Goal 5 is about ensuring gender equality, while Goals 8 and 9 are about economic growth and industry, innovation, and infrastructure respectively.
A Partnership to Help Farmers Access Agric Loans
By integrating FCMB on the Jamborrow platform, Jamborrow users, especially in rural areas, can now access financial services from FCMB without having to create a bank account. Jamborrow creates credit and financial profiles for its users, thus enabling them to access loans, grants, and other benefits from FCMB. This integration will allow farmers access to agricultural loans without having to open an FCMB account.
By injecting (working) capital in rural areas, the partnership will help to boost rural economies, create more opportunities for rural dwellers, provide job security, help raise household incomes, reduce poverty, promote economic growth as well as reduce rural-urban migration.
First City Monument Bank which is a part of the FCMB Group Plc is carving a niche for itself in developing financial products to meet the social and economic needs of small business and entrepreneurs. Some of these efforts include the SME COVID-19 loans facilitated by the International Financing Corporation (IFC) and FCMB Flexxtern which is an internship program targeted towards Nigerian graduates between the ages of 18-30.
Through its partnership with Jamborrow, FCMB is further intensifying its drive at reducing financial exclusion and income inequality in Nigeria.