Fidelity Bank and VIAMO are partnering to bring financial innovation to the Ashanti and Western regions of Ghana. The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) announces that it has entered into an agreement with Fidelity Bank Ghana, a leading commercial bank headquartered in Ghana engaged in financial inclusion and Viamo, a global social enterprise improving lives via mobile, under the GrEEn Project to increase access and usage of financial services for youth, women and returning migrants in the Ashanti and Western regions of Ghana.
Access to and usage of financial services and resources is a key contributor to the economic empowerment of women and youth. For Ghanaians living in remote areas, limited digital and financial literacy have hindered access to such services. In remote communities where these financial services are accessible, they are often not tailored to meet the specific needs of the local population, further limiting the ability of women and youth to actively contribute to their local economies.
With the support of the European Union, UNCDF is excited about the partnership with Fidelity Bank and Viamo to provide financial solutions that reach the most isolated populations and empower them to make informed financial decisions. Leveraging on Fidelity bank’s signature digital account, dubbed the Smart Account, customers can remotely open bank accounts via an end-to-end self-service platform using the USSD short code*776# or an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) service. Additionally, Fidelity Bank together with Viamo will design engaging mobile content and adapt existing solutions to empower recipients with customized, actionable information about job opportunities, entrepreneurship and financial services. This information will be geared towards the recipient's own interests and aspirations, and will be deployed via Viamo's flagship 3-2-1 product, a cutting-edge local language on demand IVR communication service, specifically designed to ensure inclusiveness of illiterate and non-smartphone users.
"Efie Ni Efie" (Home is where your treasure lies) offers three primary value propositions on (i) Information (ii) Education, and (iii) Products, harnessing local potential to unlock green, sustainable livelihoods through access to useful financial information. Efie Ni Efie is taking the excluded groups through a journey, providing them with the knowledge and tools to persuade them into making the all-important financial and non-financial decisions to stay in their local community, hence reducing the appeal of irregular migration. Additionally, Fidelity Bank’s customer-friendly remote account opening service will leverage Viamo's IVR in local dialects for non-literate persons to open and use bank accounts easily and conveniently.
“Financial literacy is at the core of the GrEEn project and we look forward to seeing thousands of youth and women from the Ashanti and Western regions of Ghana financially empowered”, said Arianna Gasparri, Financial Inclusion Specialist for UNCDF. “Thanks to the European Union, UNCDF is able to support financial innovations and bring them to the last mile in a sustainable manner. Financial education is indeed one of the key enablers to drive the journey of GrEEn targeted groups towards economic independence, and digital innovation is helping us accelerate these results.”
Commenting on the partnership, Director of Inclusive Banking at Fidelity Bank, Esi Mills Robertson, stated, "As a key contributor to Ghana’s financial inclusion agenda, we are happy to partner with Viamo to deliver innovative digital solutions to the people of the Western and Ashanti regions of Ghana. Indeed, Fidelity is always eager to partner with like-minded institutions to drive change with easily accessible and innovative digital solutions that can positively impact lives."
Country Director for Viamo in Ghana, Sandra Abrokwah, also expressed enthusiasm about the project; she said, “Viamo is thrilled to partner with Fidelity Bank on the GrEEn Project. We believe all people deserve access to the information they need to make decisions for healthy, prosperous lives. Financial education across Ashanti and Western regions via mobile is an effort that will drive economic growth and empowerment, leaving a lasting impact.”
The project is planned to run until 2023 and the joint partnership aims at reaching 70,000 new users with improved financial knowledge in selected districts of the GrEEn Project. Under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, UNCDF aims to create dynamic financial ecosystems at the local level to support targeted groups in their journey towards economic independence, thereby addressing the root causes of irregular migration.
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