As part of efforts to support Nigeria’s drive for financial inclusion, Keystone Bank Limited yesterday inaugurated an ATM gallery that was built to accommodate physically challenged persons in the society. Speaking at the event, the Executive Director, Operations and Technology, Keystone Bank, Mrs. Yvonne Isichei, said the bank decided to locate the ATM gallery at its Maryland branch, Lagos because it is a very busy metropolitan area.
According to Isichei, the bank decided to introduce the ATM gallery as part of its corporate social responsibility, which she said, is all about touching the lives of people; to demonstrate its commitment to financial inclusion as a developmental goal; as well to align with goal of sustainable banking, which is all about being conscious of the needs of those around its environment. “Some bank customers experience some difficulties using the ATMs especially the physically challenged. We want to make financial services accessible.
“Financial inclusion is about encouraging everybody, taking it near the people as possible. It is about our channels and their workability. It is supposed to make life easier,” she explained. Isichei noted that the level of financial inclusion has continued to grow, even as she expressed optimism that the 2020 target of achieving significant improvement in the level of financial inclusion would be met with structures such as the bank’s ATM gallery for the physically challenged.
“We are happy to know that there has been an appreciable progress, but we still have a long way from achieving a 70 per cent financial inclusion which is the objective of vision 2020. “Keystone bank looked at these and so we are really happy that we recognise this need and in recognising it, we have provided a solution and that is why we are gathered today,” she said. Chairman, Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria, Mr. Obioha Ononogbu, who was at the event, urged other banks to emulate what Keystone Bank did by introducing the structuring.
“The world is for everybody, you don’t have to exclude some people. The disabled should also have the opportunity to benefit from banking facilities. “The most important aspect is that it is made accessible for people on wheel-chair. I think that is the highlight of this system. This is a very good one for us that are on wheel chairs, so that we can have access and do it ourselves and not depending on anyone,” he added.