By Jeneba A.Conteh
Officials of Africell and Rokel Commercial Bank
Africell Sierra Leone has on Friday, November 18, launched Afrimoney ‘Put N Pull’ (Quick N’ Easy) with one of the leading banks in Sierra Leone, Rokel Commercial bank (RCB). The event took place at the Rokel Commercial Bank Juba Bridge in Freetown.
The initiative is a way to ensure quick and easy access to money and it is also a way of improving financial inclusion in the country.
With ‘Put’ N Pull ‘Afrimoney, it will be easy for customers to get their money without even going to the bank and the service would be available all across the country.
In his welcome address, Umaru Shyllon, Business Centre Manager at the bank, said the initiative signifies the collaboration between Fintex and Digital Banking, which indicates that the bank was collaborating with Africell to launch the “Put’N and Pull” Afrimoney.
He said it has been a long journey for the bank, which is the leading bank in the country and Afrimoney as the widest and largest network in the country.
He said the product confirms the financial inclusion drive their Managing Director, Dr. Gilpin, is preaching all over the country, adding that he has been all over Sierra Leone conducting quiz and holding seminars on financial inclusion.
Shyllon further states that collaborating with Afrimoney shows that the financial inclusion drive was moving and added that the facility will enable their customers to get money from their account to their wallet.
He thanked Africell for giving them access to their customer database because that will help their customers that reside far away from going to the bank to collect money.
Abassie Thomas, Director of Finance, Rokel Commercial Bank, said the bank in Sierra Leone is a brand name likewise Africell which is no longer a company, but a brand name.
He said for the two entities to come together constitutes a very big explosion in the country and added that banking is like a formal institution as it provides formal services to their customers.
He added that Africell also is a formal company but most of their businesses are on the informal sector, adding that if the two companies come together wherein they have Africell millions of customers or subscribers and Rokel bank having thousands of people, it would be a massive explosion.
He said for any country to develop they need that smooth transfer of monetary services in the country.
He said Rokel Bank has taken the lead in financial services and financial inclusion in the country and that they have their unit in the bank that has been all over the country preaching financial inclusion.
He said for them to team up with Africell was a very laudable idea as it will be a win situation for customers, subscribers of Africell and also for the Government of Sierra Leone because,stating that when there is smooth flow of financial transaction it brings up development in the country.
Martison Obeng-Agyei, Director Afrimoney, said they at Afrimoney were excited about the initiative as they have put so much effort in it.
He said the service will bring a lot of relief to their Afrimoney customers who save with Rokel Commercial Bank and even those who did not save with the bank to be encouraged to do so.
Director Martison further stated that the good thing about the partnership is that it offers the customers the chance to be able to save anytime of the day, any day of the week and also any season whether raining or dry season.
He said if a customer cannot walk to the bank they can walk into Afrimoney store load their money from their wallet into their phone and deposit it from their phone into their bank accounts without having to come to the bank,adding that they will get the same alert that they would have gotten when they walk into the bank.
He said the partnership also means that Afrimoney agent network would now be now available in all bank branches to all Rokel Commercial Bank customers, adding that with the partnership they have opened for their customers over six thousand (6000) new branches.
He said with the partnership they hope their customers will be happy and that they will satisfy them more and ensures that their services are available twenty-four (24) hours a day because the bank has a closing time and the agents work beyond the bank closing time.
He informed all their customers using Afrimoney that from now they can now make their deposit and withdrawals through Rokel Bank and that they can sign up and have the service available.
Managing Director of Rokel Commercial Bank, Dr. Ekudayoh Gilpin, said when looking at Financial Access Point is to look at people who are average to get their money easier and at any time they want it. He added that as a bank they are on a thrust to improve financial sector.
“The thrust is on different aspects of the financial sector and the banking sector itself. We are also looking at financial dept, which is how customers dollars, Leones, pounds are digitalized within the decision itself. Financial Efficiency is how well the customer used their Leones in the industry to bring out profit for the organization,” he said.
He added that financial dept is the value of the industry in relation to value economic size, adding that financial literacy is how much customers can use their knowledge to understand how to write their finances and made informed decisions of their retirements.
Dr. Gilpin said financial inclusion is how customers utilized their products and services that the financial sector gives to them, noting is one key area of financial inclusion on how customers utilize Afrimoney, mobile money, Sim Kopor.
He said the relationship is symbolic and is of benefit to everybody.