In its drive to improve financial inclusion in Nigeria, Sterling Bank Plc has incorporated into its service, the rotation savings and peer-to-peer lending feature on Onebank, its digital banking platform.
The new feature is the digital construct of Ajo, Esusu and Adashe, the oldest informal means of collecting and saving money through a savings club or partnership for big-ticket transactions such as a downpayment on a house, cars, business venture or luxuries.
The Ajo scheme will allow members that are Onebank users to make an agreed monthly contribution with funds accessed on an agreed rotating basis.
Oladipo Alabede, group head, digital banking of Sterling Bank, explained that the Ajo scheme could be initiated by an interested customer who will invite family and friends to join the scheme. However, all participants must be registered users on Onebank and must accept the invitation request.
“There is also an allowance for participants to switch collection positions after being accepted to be part of the scheme, monthly disbursements would occur on the 28th day of every month after all contributions for that month had come in,” he explained.
He stated, however, there were terms and conditions attached to the scheme that members must accept before participating.
“Once the Ajo scheme starts; it cannot be dissolved until its cycle is completed. Also, disputes relating to unfunded accounts will not be handled by the bank, participants will have to sort that themselves as the bank will not guarantee payments” he said.
Oladipo said that debiting participants’ accounts and remittance to beneficiaries is automated, adding that the process runs daily and will debit participants on the day he/she has selected.
According to him, someone can be added without his/her knowledge with the use of a valid email address, but the participant has to accept the invitation.