Hope PSB has built its banking solution around mobile phones — CEO

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The Chief Executive Officer, Hope PSB, Mr. Ayotunde Kuponiyi speaking with NIGERIAN NEWSDIRECT at the recently concluded 14th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Abuja, expressed that the digital bank licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) aims at enhancing financial inclusion and has built its banking solution around the mobile phone.

What is the selling point of Hope PSB amid severe competition?

We offer customers convenience and it is our pride. People say the big banks have taken over the market share but let me ask, what is the rate of financial inclusion in Nigeria now? How many BVN accounts do we have in Nigeria and what is the adult population in Nigeria?

The inclusion rate in Nigeria is still very low. Millions of people out there still need to be included to the overall benefit of the economy which Hope PSB ventures into with the aim to increase the standard of living.

What is the reception of Hope PSB in Nigeria since Incorporated in 2019?

I think it’s has been pretty good and I think we are not well known yet. As a digital bank, we operate strictly online; we don’t have branches but we are on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Today, if you Google payment, you will see our name covered, same as Airtime; that is to tell the space where the youth also play is where we are.

What are the major ways Government, stakeholders have supported PSB operations in Nigeria?

The way government has assisted is by creating an enabling environment which includes granting us a license to operate which is fantastic. Our target really is anyone that has a mobile phone is a potential customer of Hope PSB.

You don’t need anything other than a mobile phone.  If you have or don’t have a smartphone, it’s fantastic because we have the USSD channel, app and internet channels customers can utilize to transact banking activities.

The reason we have build a solution around mobile is that we have whole lot of people with a mobile phone than a bank account in Nigeria. The number keeps increasing every day and it provides an opportunity for us to win some into our banking operations.

The uniqueness of BVN has made us understand that we don’t have 49-50 million populations with bank account. But you know that our population is over 170 million, the reason why we built our solution around the phone.

What have you come to showcase at the CIBN 2021 exhibition?

We have come to showcase Hope Bank Payment Service Bank (PSB); one of the newly licensed service banks in Nigeria.

We have also come to showcase the uniqueness of the bank. We are licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) strictly for financial inclusion. Hope Bank was created to cater for the banked, underbanked and unbanked.

We have channels through which customers can reach us; mobile app , internet bank, and as well as USSD. So irrespective of the status of the economy status of the citizenry,  they have access to us.

The uniqueness of our service is that your phone number is the account number and your payment instrument. We do not use cheque or issue debit cards. Our customers can withdraw on the ATM today with their phone number and they can make payment with POS once they open an account with Hope PSB.

We support financial inclusion and disbursement of funds can be done on our platforms by merely transferring money to phone numbers of individuals and wallets will be open immediately and individuals have access to funds transferred to them.

The theme of the event is “role of the banking sector in our economy.” What has been the role of Hope PSB contribution to the nation’s economy?

In the first instance, for the economy to grow people have to be included and that is what we stand for at Hope service bank; financial inclusion.

It is only when people are included they have access to finance. When they have access to finance, they are also there to grow their cottage industry.  When they grow it, they are able to recruit more workers, taking people away from the poverty level.

On the other hand, they are also able to make payments of taxes which will increase the revenue of the government and the government will have funds to build more infrastructure.

Generally, financial inclusion leads to an improved standard of living in the economy and that is what Hope PSP stands for.