The partnership with the United States-based payments company, Visa Incorporated, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and the Youth for Technology Foundation was part of a strategy to help increase the financial awareness of more women in the society.
A statement by Visa quoted its General Manager for West Africa, Mr. Ade Ashaye as saying that, 'Through this collaboration, a total of 2,500 women entrepreneurs will become agents in the retail network of First Bank Nigeria. These agents in turn will bring branch-less banking and mobile financial services to at least 75,000 Nigerians living in rural and undeserved communities.
'Lack of access to financial services and capital is a significant barrier for women entrepreneurs in the country. Empowering women by bridging this gap will translate to the empowerment of the country as a whole as women tend to invest a significant proportion of what they earn back into their families' health and education, making a lasting difference.'
First Bank will provide the women with training on the mobile banking products while Youth for Technology Foundation will provide capacity-building entrepreneurship training to help them gain comprehensive knowledge and information on subjects that are core to their development as entrepreneurs.
'We believe access to financial services is essential for progress. Financial inclusion is a bridge that allows formerly isolated members of an economic system to join in and become contributing participants. Improving access to financial services and electronic payments is a critical building block to help more people improve their lives and lift themselves out of poverty.' Ashaye added.
He said Visa remained committed to expanding access to digital payments to emerging economies.
The payment company is constantly creating new partnerships between financial institutions, merchants, governments and consumers to help expand access to appropriate, sustainable and secure financial services and education for everyone, everywhere.