Unity Bank Plc, Nigeria’s retail lender, has launched a new retail product codenamed Yanga Account to demonstrate increased commitment to promoting financial inclusion and women empowerment. The product was created to have a greater positive impact on Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) run by women in the mass market retail space.
At the event, which took place yesterday in the Mararaba area of Nasarawa State, a border community with Abuja, the bank also unveiled Nigerian film actress Sola Sobowale as its chief brand ambassador.
The initiative was intended to create Yanga Experience, from business promotion to capacity building to a health insurance scheme for Yanga account holders, as a product aimed at boosting Nigerian women entrepreneurs.
The benefits of opening a Yanga Account are summed up by the bank as ‘The Yanga Experience.’ Unity Bank stated that the new initiative aims to capture every woman in the mass-market retail space and that Yanga Account holders will enjoy many benefits such as stress-free savings and investment, access to dedicated sales agents, and agency banking services close to the location of their businesses.
Account-holders have also been promised access to microloans, customized debit cards, and other bundled e-banking products, as well as a special business seminar and training on how to grow a business.
Mrs Tomi Somefun, the Managing Director/CEO of Unity Bank Plc, stated that the “Yanga Account is being launched as a daring attempt to directly cater to women and their respective businesses”.
Sobowale stated after her introduction to the audience that the product’s launch is in recognition of the importance of women in nation-building. Yanga Account, she says, will give women substance and help women across the country realize their untapped potential.
“This is what another bank has not been able to do, attaching agents to every account holder to make transactions on their accounts seamless. Unity bank speaks every language. Everybody is qualified for the account. Yanga is here to stay,” Sobowale said. “I want everybody to now call me Mama Yanga. Anytime you are looking for a role model that stands for what they are come to Unity Bank”.
Some fun said the Account “is open to all market women in farming, fashion design, tailoring, frozen food, pastry and baking, cosmetics, jewellery designs and making, skincare, eateries and restaurants, etc. whether living in the communities or cities”.
“Yanga Account is conceived and designed for the financial literacy and empowerment of Nigerian women. It is about making sure that our women who make up 55% of the financially excluded Nigerians have access to basic and life-changing financial services”.
According to a recent study by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), “Women need economic opportunities if countries are to realize the full potential of their human capital.” Individuals, families, and businesses can all benefit from financial inclusion, which can support key outcomes such as GDP growth”.
“The Yanga account will also incorporate an affordable Health insurance scheme not only as part of the product bouquet underpinning the Bank’s belief in health and wellness, which translate to wealth creation but also to drive insurance penetration, which is currently at 2% in Nigeria,” Some fun added. As a result, we believe that this will provide essential ingredients for business growth while also adding greater value to Yanga account holders.
“At Unity Bank, through products like Yanga Account, we continue to align with the vision of the Central Bank of Nigerian and the financial services ecosystem to provide needed support for Nigerian women by enhancing access to wealth-creating opportunities in the financial services sector”.
In addition, Mr Funwa Akinmade, group head, retail, SME banking, and e-business at Unity Bank, stated, “the official launch of the Yanga Account is an extremely important step for us as a Bank because it is one step that brings our services closer to Nigerian women as Unity Bank makes efforts to further expand its retail footprints in the market”.
“At Unity Bank Plc, we have devoted the past few years to constantly innovating with banking solutions to enable us to drive more financial inclusiveness in different market segments, but the Yanga Account is introduced as a bold attempt to directly cater to women and their respective businesses.
“Unity Yanga is a well-packaged banking product that combines several services that most small businesses owned by women will need to become profitable. We are optimistic that Nigerian women will embrace the Yanga Account and leverage its full benefits to grow their businesses”.