Pan-African lender to use app to retain relevancy of traditional bank accounts

Mar 21, 2017

The Pan-African lender has persuaded regulators in 25 of the 33 African markets where it holds a banking licence to allow citizens to quickly and easily open bank accounts via their mobile phones

Ecobank bank has unveiled a new app that retains the relevance of traditional bank accounts while providing digital financial services at the same time. The Pan-African lender has persuaded regulators in 25 of the 33 African markets where it holds banking licences, to allow citizens to quickly and easily open bank accounts via their mobile phones, without the need to physically appear at a bank branch to queue and present documents. In order to implement this new initiative, the bank uses the know-your-customer (KYC) information, which was provided by the user when they registered their SIM card. The KYC data is necessary in helping to prevent banking fraud, money laundering and criminal activity. While speaking about how the initiative will work, Edward George, Head of Ecobank's UK representative office and group research said, "basically if you have an African mobile phone you can open an account. Everything that you have done to get and register the SIM for the phone, the central bank will now accept that to get the KYC [for a bank account]." The initiative also enables international transfers between African nations where Ecobank is licensed; this is to encourage money to stay within the Ecobank system.