To ensure that its customers enjoy quality services that are comparable with other banks in the country, the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta Microfinance Bank Limited, Abeokuta (UMFB), has formally launched its Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Debit Card. According to the Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Abimbola Adewale, the UMFB Freedom ATM Card is of the same standard with what is obtainable in other regular banks across the country. The unique features include pin protection, national acceptability on point of sale (POS) terminals, as well as safe, secure, easy, convenient and available 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week.
Speaking on the genesis of the UMFB Freedom ATM Card, Mr. Adewale said that on his appointment in 2013, he prepared and submitted a five-year strategic plan to the Board of Directors for consideration, which included the introduction of ATM cards and dispensing machine, among other electronic channels. The Managing Director disclosed that in partnership with Fidelity Bank Plc, UFMB had succeeded in installing an ATM Cash Dispensing Machine in 2014, with an assurance to deliver on the promise of the bank's ATM card. He expressed gratitude to the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, and the bank's Board of Directors for their immense support and co-operation towards making the launching a reality. Mr Adewale particularly appreciated the Board of Directors for approving the acquisition of a new software, acquisition of electronic banking platform and a 3.5 KVA solar system, which were instrumental to the successes recorded.
The Managing Director disclosed that aside cash withdrawals, the card could be used "to make purchases on POS, pay bills such as DSTV, GOTV and other utilities on various channels". According to him, "a rigorous user assessment test of the card had been undertaken, using several ATM machines across Abeokuta, Ilaro, Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, as well as Lekki in Lagos State. For the upwardly mobile class of our clientele, we have also deployed mobile app of your ‘innovative bank’ and this can be downloaded from Google Play, then search for UNAAB Mfb, download the app on your android telephones and enjoy a world of limitless possibilities".
The Managing Director hinted that some of the facilities that could be enjoyed by customers that bank with the UMFB, include instant salary advance, personal loans, consumer and micro-lease, long-term loans such as ‘auto loan’ and ‘UNAAB MFB Micro-Housing Loan’, while adding that the bank's agriculture finance product, which was being administered in partnership with the National Agricultural Insurance Corporation and the Development Finance Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, have been commissioned and code-named "Farmers Delight". The Acting Chairman, Board of Directors, UMFB Limited and Director, Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies (CENTS) of the University, Professor Adewale Dipeolu, stated that UNAAB Microfinance Bank would continually strive to live up to its mission by rendering excellent, prompt, efficient and effective services, as a way of the enhancing better livelihood and promoting wealth creation, using dedicated staff and affordable technology, adding that the bank had a vision to be a first-class microfinance bank in Nigeria by delivering quality service towards poverty alleviation and wealth creation.
Professor Dipeolu highlighted other core objectives of the bank to include: enlightening people on the utilisation of credit for wealth creation and expansion, provision of excellent customer services, promoting group approach to alleviating poverty, enlightening people on the art of saving, providing business advisory services, pursuing business policies that would make opportunities available for people with little or insufficient capital and to engage in capacity building for development of entrepreneurial skills and abilities for managing small businesses in crafts, trades, services and farms. On the expansion plan of the bank, the Acting Chairman noted that, on medium to long term basis, the bank intends to expand beyond its present catchment areas, state-wide and beyond, so as to make its presence better felt, in as many localities as much as possible. He lauded the bank's Managing Director, noting that he had taken the bank to enviable heights since his assumption of office, adding that in the past three years, the bank's customer base alone had grown from 6,500 in 2014 to 10,460 in 2016, while deposits, loans and advancement had also increased steadily.
Speaking at the occasion, the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, appreciated the achievements and total transformation recorded by the bank under the watch of the incumbent Managing Director, stating that the previous experiences of funds mismanagement and fraud had made people to lose trust in the bank. He also commended the Board of Directors for ensuring that the bank lived up to its vision and mission, adding that the University was proud to associate with the bank. Describing the microfinance bank as an asset to the University, Professor Enikuomehin noted that it made FUNAAB to be a complete higher educational institution, while adding that the value of the bank to students on campus was immeasurable, particularly, with the introduction of ATM card. Professor Enikuomehin noted that the success being celebrated could not be complete without mentioning the name of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole, who was the substantive Chairman of the Board, under whose leadership, many ideas were conceived and implemented. He, thereafter, appealed to members of the University community to patronise the bank.