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Access Bank Launches Initiative To Enhance Digital Loans

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Access Bank Plc, has launched what it termed the ‘Diamond Business Advantage (DBA) lite’ in a bid to increase its digital loans and enhance access to finance for young entrepreneurs.

The bank said the product which is targeted at the youths was designed to add value to micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs).

Speaking during the launch of the product in Lagos, recently, the bank’s Executive Director, Victor Etuokwu, said, entrepreneurship is essential for the growth of any nation.

He said: “DBA Lite is a product of the erstwhile Diamond bank via the Diamond Business Account (DBA) and that was one of the best products in the market but after the merger, we renamed it as DBA but this innovation; DBA Lite is targeted for the youths who are start-ups, established or growing. This innovation will bring access to digital loans for the youths because that is what we want to do with this innovation.”

Etuokwu noted that the digital loan would be in the form of N50,000 to N5 million, adding that entrepreneurs can only access the loan once they meet the requirements.

According to him, Access Bank accounts for over 50 per cent of digital loans in the industry because it is gives such loans at an average of N18,000-N20,000 daily.

“Last year, four million people accessed N100 billion and we are targeting more in 2021. We are growing and we will keep growing because our digital loans are not for the youths only but for small business owners, employees and the rest of them and I am assuring you that we will do double digit this year as that is the plan.

“As we speak, we are averaging N12 billion to N13 billion every month and so we should be somewhere around N60 billion to N70 billion and clearly, we will do more than we did last year,” he said.

Giving more insights into the product, Etuokwu noted that the features of the product includes less documentation, affordability, convenience, access to market, access to finance, access to business loans and access to payment acceptance services.

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Business

Access Bank To Merge Newly Acquired Zambian Unit With African Banking Corp

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Nigeria’s biggest bank by asset Access Bank said it has entered a binding pact to merge its Zambian unit with African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited in a planned reformation coming barely nine months after it bought the subsidiary.

The agreement sets in motion the quest to broaden Access Bank’s presence in the Southern African country to 70 branches and agencies, customer base to 300,0000 and total assets with a value in the neighbourhood of $1 billion through the combined entity, the lender stated in a note to the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Monday.

It also hinted at the possibility of upping its stake in the entity after the deal is delivered.

The Herbert Wigwe-led bank has been hyperactive in Africa’s merger and acquisition market this year, the immediate target of expansion being the Southern Africa region where four takeovers have already been completed in economies as diverse as Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Botswana.

Access Bank ended trade in Lagos on Monday at N9.45 per share, declining by 0.53 per cent.

Three of the banks purchased through the acquisitions were from Atlas Mara Limited, the holding company, which owns African Banking Corporation and the biggest shareholding in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc translating to 49.97 per cent of the lender’s issued share capital.

Bloomberg said in January Atlas Mara could be considering offers to purchase its stake in Union Bank from Access Bank and Zenith Bank.

“The merger of Atlas Mara Zambia with Access Bank Zambia is expected to augment our presence in Zambia and the broader COMESA region, Africa’s largest free trade area,” CEO Wigwe said in the statement.

Access Bank, whose grand aspiration is to be Africa’s financial gateway to the world, expects its operation outside Nigeria, its base, to bring as much as 30 per cent to the group’ pool of profit this financial year.

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CBN Rolls Out E-Naira App, Merchant Wallets

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has rolled out eNaira, the country’s first digital currency.

The digital currency has two applications — eNaira speed wallet and eNaira merchant wallet.

The two apps were rolled out on Google playstore and Apple store on Monday, according to checks by TheCable.

In a statement on the eNaira website, CBN said interested individuals can sign-up on the eNaira speed wallet by inputting their details as captured during BVN enrollment.

The details include First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, State of Origin, and Email.

“Your Banks are waiting to assist you in validating and updating your BVN details to ensure seamless enrolment to the eNaira Platform,” the statement reads.

“Remember Your BVN details is YOUR Personal Information, Do not disclose to Anyone.”

Osita Nwasinobi, spokesperson of the CBN, over the weekend, said President Muhammadu Buhari will launch the digital currency today.

Nwasinobi said the launch of the eNaira is a culmination of several years of research by the apex bank in advancing the boundaries of payment systems to make financial transactions easier and seamless.

The apex bank had postponed the unveiling of the eNaira on October 1, citing key activities lined up for the country’s 61st independence anniversary.

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Access Bank Holds Free Cancer Screening, Treatment For LAWMA Staff

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Access Bank’s W Initiative, in conjunction with Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, organised free breast and cancer screenings for female staff members of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).

The event which was held at the LAWMA Headquarters  was in commemoration of the Global Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the W Health Month.

Group Head, Women Banking Team, Access Bank PLC, Mrs. Abiodun Olubitan, described the event as a “crucial step to protecting women in Nigeria”.

“Breast and cervical cancer are two of the most common forms of cancer that plague women in Nigeria’s health climate. Recognizing how important early diagnosis is to overall outcomes, we decided to organize this screening program as part of our commitment to continuously empower the Nigerian woman. We are optimistic that through this initiative and many more like it, there will be a marked improvement in the wellbeing of thousands of Nigerian women,” she said.

Headed by Dr. Femi Olaleye, the Head Doctor, Optimal Cancer Care, the event gave the participants detailed insights into the aetiology of cancer, the risk factors, as well as when to seek professional help. Dr. Olaleye also debunked common cancer myths and gave attendees a live demonstration on the correct way to conduct a self-breast examination.

The event impacted a total of 189 women and provided free treatment and medication to 19 women who were suffering from the disease.

The W Initiative is the women-focused arm of Access Bank Plc, which is dedicated to empowering women in Nigeria’s social and economic terrain.

Thus far, the Initiative has launched various offerings, including the Maternal Health Service Support, the LSETF W Initiative Loan, the W Community and the W Power Loan, that have all contributed to promoting good health, inclusivity, economic viability and general wellbeing of the Nigerian woman.

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