A Bank-To-Wallet programme has been launched yesterday by two leading corporate entities in the banking and communication industries, the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) and Orange Money, a branch of Orange Sierra Leone.
The former plays a leading role in Sierra Leone’s banking industry while the letter is taking the lead in mobile communications.
The launching ceremony took place at the SLCB conference hall witnessed by officials of the two institutions.
The Bank-To-Wallet programme ensures that SLCB customers carry out transactions without coming to the bank and join long queues.
Once a customer is part of the system, they can transfer money of a sum which ranges from Le 10,000 (ten thousand Leones) to Le 15,000,000 (fifteen million Leones) per day from an SLCB account to Orange money and vice versa.
The launching of the Bank-To-Wallet scheme is in line with government strategy to control congestion in public places to reduce incidents of Covid-19 pandemic.
It is a financial inclusion strategy pursued by the two entities in a country where financial inclusion has been tagged at 20%.
Several personalities represented their business organisations at the launching and made statements.
Deputy Managing Director, Bockarie Kallon referred to the launching ceremony as a completion of a journey that began three years back.
Mr Kallon seems highly appreciative of the scheme considering the great benefit it would bring to its customer base.
“The Wallet-To-Bank is the best I have never seen as it ensures better service for customers,” he commended.
The SLCB Manager also saw the launch of the programme as one that saves customers’ transportation cost time.
“With the launch of the Wallet-To-Bank programme by the two entities, customers can stay at home and comfortably do their banking in their homes,” he assured.
In his contribution, Chief Executive Officer for Orange Money, David Mansaray told the audience that the launching ceremony was a moment of celebration for both entities.
Mr Mansaray saw the launch as a step towards a big partnership which he referred to as a “partnership of financial inclusion.”
Of all benefits the launching would bring, he is particularly concerned with the time and transportation cost the programme would save consumers.
“Assuming a customer has Le 50,000 in his possession and wants to buy top-up credit, he does not need to come to the bank and stand in long queues. The customer would do everything at the comfort of his house,” Kalokoh explained.
The launching, he said, came with wide support to a wider economy noting that those in remote areas stand to benefit.
Mr Kalokoh called on the civil servants especially the police and the teachers to take advantage of the service.
In his address at the launching, SLCB Chief Executive Officer, Abdulai Fidelis Turay said the partnership between his institution and Orange Money is geared towards reaching a large customer base.
He said the Bank-To Wallet service would target the formal and informal sectors of the economy to ensure that customers have unfettered access to their money.
“As the people’s bank, SLBC is committed to ensuring that customer’s money is safe,” he assured.
The launching is part of a strategy to broaden financial inclusion in Sierra Leone.
He entreated customers to stay at home and conduct their banking transactions.
The official launch of the Bank-To-Wallet scheme by heads of the two entities formed part of the occasion.
A 40-minute power-point presentation on the operations of the scheme was done by officials of the two institutions.
The demonstration shows the criteria one needs to fulfil before becoming a member of the scheme.
Abibatu Junisa an employee of Orange Money explained the criteria and process one had to go through to enrol on the Bank-To- Wallet scheme.
“To be part of the scheme, one must be a customer of Orange Money and account holder at SLCB,” she explained.
She explained that for one to take part in the scheme, they must dial#144# and *6 and wait for response.
After dialing the said digits, she said, several banks would be shown and that figure-3 had been allocated to SLCB.
Madam Junisa advised potential members of the scheme to make sure that their particulars are in harmony with Orange Money and SLCB.
An SLCB official also made contribution to guide potential members of the scheme by showing a digital form via power point which one must fill to become a member of the scheme.