To empower over 46.9 million unbanked Nigerians, Inlaks, a financial technology solutions provider in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, has introduced a solar powered mobile branch solution.
According to Inlaks, this solution will eliminate the constraints associated with brick and mortar bank branches.
Director, Infrastructure Business, Inlaks, Tope Dare, Said the solution will enable financial institutions to overcome the challenges of growth, operational efficiency and responsibility to deliver the highest quality.
Dare said it will also promote self-service consumer experience and project the strongest brand image to minimize costs and complexity of maintaining and managing self-service channels.
"This mobile solution has been designed to provide customers convenient access to cash at remote locations as well as busy areas without physical bank structures. The vehicle can be dispatched to specific locations to provide a second or third ATM during events such as trade fairs, festivals, exhibitions, conferences amongst other events.
"With our unique mobile branch solution, African banks will not be required to have physical branches before enrolling millions of their unbanked population, as the mobile banking platform will provide a cost effective method to service smaller or targeted markets," he stated.
Explaining how the company is working with the banks to achieve the objective of reaching the unbanked, Dare said Inlaks will collaborate with financial institutions who plan to establish new branches to open "on-site" with the solar powered Mobile solution while their permanent branch is still under construction."
He further disclosed that with the mobile bank solution, banks can solicit and open new accounts "on-site", issue card, engage in BVN enrolments and linkages.
According to him, the solution also allows banks to reinforce existing relationships and educate customers on available digital banking services.
"Banks can also target major employers by enhancing banking relationships through the services provided by the Solar Powered Mobile Branch Solution," he noted.
The firm explained that the mobile bank branch solution is totally self-contained for power and security, as a mobile unit is an integral part of bank's "disaster recovery plan" and an enhancement to a bank's existing ISO 22301 (BCMS) certification.
Some features incorporated into the mobile unit include a CCTV camera positioned at strategic positions, burglar alarm system, state of the art fire system, a 3kVA Xantrex Inverter, a backup system with batteries, rack, connectors, provision of a solar system for power source, and a power generator. Others include provision of PHCN power source, inverter air conditioner, and a photo sensor lightings for security lights among others.
"The mobile bank branch is a moving bill board with a bank's name and logo. A bank can market for new branch openings, new products and services offered by the bank. Before a bank closes an unprofitable branch, the bank should consider a mobile branch as an alternative.
"Banks such as First Bank, Wema Bank, Sterling Bank, Access, Stanbic Bank and Fidelity Bank have already taken advantage of the Mobile Branch Solution," he stated.