Some of the beneficiaries filling their forms
FIDELITY BANK Ghana Limited has partnered Care International to extend the bank’s financial inclusion programme to the people of Garu-Tempane in the Upper East Region.
Between June 8 and June 13, 2014, staff of Fidelity Bank’s Financial Inclusion Department opened Smart Accounts for members of CARE International Village’s Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs).
About 500 Smart accounts and 12 Fidelity Smart agents were opened in communities such as Boko, Bugro, Gbanterah, Bugpiigu, and Kugpiella.
CARE’s VSLAs fall under its Access Africa programme, which aims to reach 30 million people in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with a suite of basic financial services that are flexible, cost effective and tailored to their needs.
The programme is also working with formal financial institutions to provide access to appropriate and convenient financial products and services, including savings, credit and insurance.
Dr. William Derban, Director of Financial Inclusion & CSR at Fidelity Bank, said ‘the project is a key part of Fidelity’s rural expansion and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which seeks to improve livelihoods through finance.
‘Under this two-year partnership, Fidelity will provide financial services to over 70,000 individuals and their groups in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West and Brong Ahafo regions.
‘We expect beneficiaries to vastly exceed this target, as our services will be available to other members of our host communities.
‘ Noel Da’Cruz, Project Manager of CARE International in Ghana, said ‘access to and eligibility criteria for opening bank accounts are no more a barrier to financial inclusion for rural dwellers as they now have the opportunity to operate full accounts in their communities, using one form of national ID.
‘ He said ‘this can be done without visiting a physical branch of a bank but through the use of Fidelity Smart Accounts and Agents – all these are achieved through technology.
‘ Grace Bukari, a beneficiary in an interview, said she was relieved to have a bank account because it was going to aid her in Village Savings and Loans Association’s financial transactions and further secure and grow their funds with the Smart Account’s attractive interest rate.
Fidelity Bank, Ghana’s foremost indigenous private bank, earlier this year, launched the Smart Account and Agency Banking service, and currently has over 100,000 Smart Accounts and over 200 Smart Agents in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern and Upper East regions.
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