As part of their efforts to bring banking at the door steps of people, the new Head of the Media and Public Relations Department at Rokel Commercial Bank, Aruna Dumbuya has on Thursday, 26th January 2023 revealed that financial inclusion is at the heartbeat of the bank’s trajectory.

He made this statement on Star TV’s Good Morning Show Program, while speaking on the various steps the Bank has taken to provide financial services for Sierra Leoneans in the country.

Dumbuya said that they have been receiving positive feedback from customers, noting that without the customers the Bank will not be in existence.

He added that the positive feedback from customers are pointers to show the bank is doing well, with the Bank’s financial statement indicating that customers deposit are soaring is a key performance indicator to show that their customers are happy with the business and their banking products.

He further emphasized that as a bank they always try to understand what the needs of their customers are and how they can provide these needs in a timely manner. He added that customers are very important as they can serve as an agent to convince other potential customers to join them which is in line with their financial inclusion goal.

When we set up the small medium Enterprise unit, we have set of staff that normally go out there to reach out to people. We know there are so many people out there who are having common fright to withstand the ambiance of the Banks or sound financially institutions especially the vulnerable people they are scared to come closer, that is why we are taking Banking to their door steps and we normally have people in our SME Unit to reach out to these people,’’ he said.

Princess Jones, Supervisor from the Rokel E Banking Department, spoke on the introduction of their new Visa Debit Card, which she said is readily available.

She revealed that the Visa Debit Card is now easy to access compared to the past years when customers have to wait for their Debit card one week after application.

She said that the narrative has changed as customers can now open an account and get a debit card the same day with an affordable cost of NL60. She further stated that the cards have so many features including but not limited to, ATM, Online shopping which reduces the hassles from customers for Forex. She further described the debit cards as reliable, safe and secure.

Speaking on the Rokel Korpor Card, Jones stated that the amount is just a minimal of NL40. She further encouraged customers of the Bank to walk into any of their branches and apply for it, and they are assured to get it within the shortest possible time.

She noted that the card can be used at any Rokel ATM Machine available in the country, adding that there are ATM in various parts of the country, including, Bo, Kenema, Makeni, and Freetown. She said all what customers just need to do is to change their Pin at the ATM and commenced transaction.

However, She noted that the Rokel Korpor Card can only be used with Rokel Bank’s ATM Machines, but noted that in the future they are planning to get agents around for customers to be able to access funds using the Korpor card locally.

She also mentioned that the Visa Debit Card can be used out of Sierra Leone because it is globally accepted. She added that customers can travel abroad and use the Visa debit card to access money not only on the ATM but at any Banking Hall using a Point of Sales Machines.

In reflection of financial inclusion globally, Dumbuya emphasized that the United Nations documents have cited 17 sustainable Development goals [SDGs] and seven are related to financial institutions though all are geared towards poverty reduction by 2030, and amongst these seven there are four which they placed high as a Bank.

He further revealed that goal 8 specifically speaks on financial inclusion which laid emphasis on the focus on women, youth and people that are disable and living in deplorable conditions.

He mentioned that the SDGS document is also in line with the National Strategy for financial inclusion document. He added these documents sometimes guide the core values and the actions of the Bank.

He cited three major components of the said documents which speak on Access to financial Products, digital space, and educational financial literacy, which they normally use to formulate their own strategies.

Meanwhile, in line with their financial inclusion drive, Managing director and Chief Executive officer of the Bank Ambassador Dr. Walton Ekundayo Gilpin has stated several times that one of the functions of bankers is not to sit in the air conditions offices with coat and ties but to help the smaller business grow with the economy.