Airtel Money and Zambia National Commercial Bank Plc (Zanaco) have partnered to launch the Cultiv8 account. This is with the objective to bring banking services closer to the people of Zambia in rural areas particularly farmers. Cultiv8, is a low cost account that is primarily accessed through Airtel Money. To access the account, one needs to simply sign up for Airtel Money at which point the Cultiv8 account can be opened. The account is interest free and attracts no monthly charges. The account enables customers to make withdrawals, deposits and receive funds from multiple sources through money transfers and deposits.
Speaking at the same event, Airtel Managing Director Charity Lumpa said: “the partnership with Zanaco signifies yet another milestone through which Airtel Money has evolved and will continue growing. This partnership will give farmers a safe way of saving, transacting and buying of goods and services without carrying cash everywhere they go”
Lumpa added that “the partnership will improve access to financial services and stimulate the Zambian economy as more agents will be on a commission and in turn empower the locals through job creation. This will open up new avenues for income generation especially for people in the informal sector”
Lumpa went on to say that the banking industry in Zambia has long faced the challenge of bringing the unbanked and under-banked citizens into the formal banking sector. Airtel money is playing a significant role in mitigating this challenge. Indeed the rapid growth of Airtel money is testimony to its user friendliness, convenience, affordability, relevance and easy access.
Speaking at the event, Zanaco Managing Director Martyn Schouten said the Bank values strategic partnerships with organisations who share the passion of offering a service to the Zambian citizens. He also mentioned that Zanaco has several partnerships with organizations ranging from utility companies to institutions of higher learning. He added that such partnerships translate into better service delivery for the customers and that the partnerships are a perfect fit with Zanaco’s mandate of banking the unbanked population of Zambia through the provision of innovative but affordable products. ‘’We are proud to be associated with the Airtel brand in the provision of banking services particularly in rural areas. We believe in going that extra mile in ensuring we offer a service to our customers and improve our service delivery to our customers’’, he said.
Schouten also mentioned that the Bank is dedicated to helping farmers grow in Zambia saying the Agriculture Sector is critical in the economic development of the country. ‘’We are extremely happy that we are offering this product to the farmers because out of 1million small scale farmers in Zambia, only 20% have bank accounts. This was our motivation for introducing the product on the market. The growth of the agriculture sector in Zambia translates into creation of jobs and food security which is one of the goals for the Government,’’ he added.
Officiating at the event, southern province Permanent Secretary Douglas Ngimbu said the Government is always ready to partner and support organizations who are focussed on making the livelihood of Zambians better. He added that strategic relationships help organisations grow. ‘‘Strategic partnerships are an integral part of any firm’s growth. What we are witnessing today is further evidence that where mutually beneficial partnerships are focussed on service delivery, what follows always benefits not only the parties involved but also society as a whole,’’ he said.
He also mentioned that he was happy to note that with the introduction of Cultiv8 on the Zambian market, small scale and emergent farmers in rural areas will face little or no challenges in accessing financial services. ‘’My government is aware of the many challenges that farmers face as they try to access basic financial services. With a growth rate of 23% per annum in terms of subscribers, Airtel is arguably the fastest growing network in Zambia. With over 65 outlets in all the 10 provinces, Zanaco is the biggest Bank in the country in terms of both its capitalisation and distribution. When such giants join forces to push the development agenda forward, one can be rest assured that success is almost guaranteed,’’ he added.