Microfinance bank leverages credit purchase scheme to deepen financial inclusion

Baobab Microfinance Bank Limited and its sister company, Baobab Plus, have expanded their credit purchase scheme to smartphones as part of plans to deepen financial inclusion across the country.

Baobab Microfinance Bank Limited and its sister company, Baobab Plus, have expanded their credit purchase scheme to smartphones as part of plans to deepen financial inclusion across the country.
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The extension of the scheme to mobile devices follows the success of its solar energy credit programme, the company has said.

Unveiled last week, the mobile phone offer took off concurrently at four branches of the bank with a plan to extend to other outlets nationwide in the coming months.

The scheme is an initiative of Baobab Plus, while the microfinance provides sale outlets and financing, Chief Executive of Baobab Plus, Kolawole Osinowo, said.

Osinowo said the ultimate goal of the scheme was to bring Nigerians who are outside the financial system into the banking space and provide an opportunity for rating their creditworthiness.
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“This rides on the success of our solar power scheme, which provides power to the last mile. Apart from the opportunity to get mobile devices and spread the payment, across three or six months, this will help to build a credit history for the customers.

“If you take up a device, and you are able to in 13 or 26 weeks without missing any instalment, you have been able to show that you are creditworthy. That provides the microfinance bank with an opportunity to assess your creditworthiness,” Osinowo said.

Subscribers are required to pay 20 per cent of the total cost of the device they intend to purchase and give the balance spread across three or six months.

The company employs three approaches to reduce default – credit rating algorithm, digital advisory and phone lock mechanism.

Head of Corporate Communication and Marketing, Rotimi Wusu, described the scheme as a win-win for the bank and its customers. He added that it would accelerate the growth of the bank’s customer base.
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