The prestigious Banker Award has honoured Access Bank Ghana with the global Financial Inclusion award at the 2020 ‘Bank of the Year’ Awards virtual announcement in London on December 2. The Financial Times owned magazine’s annual awards are regarded as the industry standard for banking excellence.
Competing against other global banks, Access Bank received the Financial Inclusion Award in light of its women empowerment agenda, and making good of its objective on ﬁnancial inclusion with the introduction of a new savings account targeted at women groups with limited access to ﬁnancial services. The account called “Live B3ta”, is an insurance-embedded group savings account linked to a mobile money wallet and designed to drive behavioural change towards savings, micro-insurance, and credit.
Giving insights on the project during the live virtual announcement, the Group Head for Retail Banking at Access Bank Ghana, Matilda Asante-Asiedu said, “Live B3ta targets informal groups, particularly women and youth in rural and peri-urban areas. The account enables groups as well as individuals to save at zero charges. It is also integrated with mobile money and makes it easier for customers to make transactions and allows them to use their phone numbers as an alternative to their account numbers.”
With funding support from MasterCard Foundation and the Oxford Policy Management (OPM), “Live B3ta” is under the Bank’s ﬂagship “W” Initiative and forms part of the OPM “Savings at the Frontier” (SatF), which is aimed at improving the ﬁnancial inclusion of low-income individuals and communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
Acknowledging the award during the virtual ceremony, the Managing Director for Access Bank Ghana, Mr Olumide Olatunji expressed that financial inclusion has been a key pillar in the Bank’s business strategy for over 5 years and is proud the efforts are having an impact and duly recognised.
He added that, “As a truly African bank, we appreciate the rapidly evolving and increasingly complex business environment in which we operate. To take the lead, anticipate and solve problems of our customers and stakeholders, we have embraced a culture of innovation and through an enterprise-wide approach, we are able to channel resources towards developing promising ideas that translate into proﬁt and sustainable business growth.”
Since launching the “W” Initiative in 2015, over 40,000 women across Ghana have benefited from various workshops through the ‘W’ Knowledge Hub Series and other specialised training sessions for female business leaders in collaboration with the IFC, Dutch Development Bank – FMO, and other partners. The Bank has also partnered several institutions to bring financial literacy and funding to support women who come on board the initiative.
Access Bank takes pride in investing its resources towards activities that are economically progressive, environmentally conscious and socially responsible. Today, the Bank is harnessing the power of innovation as a tool for implementing sustainable development, as mirrored across every aspect of its business; from their core values to product delivery.
The Bank has won many international and national accolades including the “Best Company in Women Empowerment Project” and “Best Company in Financial Literacy & Inclusion Project” at the 2020 Sustainability and Social Investment Awards (SSI) ceremony, winner of the 2019 Karlsruhe Sustainable Finance Awards – Outstanding Business Sustainability Achievement, Special Recognition Award in Sustainability Banking in Africa and the Brandcom Award for Best Brand in Sustainability among others.