Branch wants to change partial financial inclusion to complement financial access – Nairametrics
While there is a lot that can be said and done in providing banking services to the unbanked, not much is said about those who already have access to a financial product but are still denied access to others.
The Managing Director of the Nigeria branch, Dayo Ademola, was the guest of the Nairametrics Business Half Hour, where she explained that a significant number of Nigerians only have access to one financial product and not the whole of the sequel.
“Some people only have a bank account for deposits and withdrawals. But they have never had access to loans and overdrafts, or even to investment products where they can monetize their money. This is partial financial inclusion and our goal at Branch is to ensure that everyone has full financial access ”, Adémol explained.
Branch international started in Kenya in 2015, before entering Nigeria as a loan application in 2017. Over the past three years, fintech has expanded its services to other areas to become a fully digital bank. . “We started with a money lender license from the Lagos State government, but now we are fully licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria,” Adémol explained.
Branch now not only offers loan products, it also offers commission-free financial transactions and investment packages that allow clients to get more money from their money. There is also a referral program where customers refer a friend and earn a bonus. The company has operations in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and India, and is backed by well-known investors around the world.
What is the model?
As a digital bank, Branch operates a leaner single branch model that frees up a lot of funds that could have been invested in operations. Thanks to this, fintech can pass some of these savings on to customers in the form of commission-free transactions.
“Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can set it up in less than five minutes, make deposits and start trading. All transactions are commission free. You also do the KYC and enter other information if you want to apply for a loan. Your loan can be approved within 24 hours and you will have access to the funds. For clients who want to invest, they get a down payment of 20% per year on their investment deposits. There is no lockdown period, so you have immediate and constant access to your money. she explained.
To ensure client deposits are secure, Branch selects and invests only in securities with capital assured.
Data protection and customer experience
As a fully licensed and CBN regulated fintech, Branch takes steps to protect customer data. First of all, the data entered for loan approvals is processed by algorithms, not humans. Its data protection policy complies with NDPR nationally and GDPR globally.
Branch also adds a unique customer experience to their model. After disbursing over 3 million individual loans and around 35,000 reviews, customer service seems to be a feature that consistently gets good reviews.
“Banks like ours are called neo-banks or challenger banks. We are building a banking model that says banking doesn’t have to be the way it has traditionally been in terms of ease, convenience, and affordability. And that is why the slogan “Better than your bank” comes into play ”, Ademola said.
During the pandemic, Branch had to cut loans to manage default rates, but after the pandemic, loan approval numbers rebounded, showing an almost complete recovery from the pandemic.