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Cashfree society advancing in Nigeria
Published in Bikya Masr on 25 - 02 - 2011

Nigeria is looking to move toward a cashless society in order to reduce risks of counterfeiting, robbery and cash flow problems. In order to do so, 3Line Card Management Limited – an electronic payment platform – has developed the Freedom Card aimed to make banking services easier and cash free in the African country.
According to the company, Freedom Card “is an end-to-end electronic payment solution, is targeted at providing street banking services for the under-banked and underserved communities in Nigeria through its Freedom Network platform.”
The Freedom Network is a community of banks, service providers, government agencies and merchants that offer instant financial services such as cash withdrawal, money transfer, airtime top-ups, ticketing, pay-as-you-go vehicle insurance and utility bill payment at authorized retail shops and Freedom Network service points in neighborhoods.
“3Line intends using the Freedom Card to provide a single and common platform to provide street banking services to stakeholders, provide financial inclusion for the informal sector, bridge the gap between users and providers of financial and non-financial services in Nigeria as well use cost-effective technology to provide Nigerians affordable financial services within communities,” it said in a statement.
Speaking at the unveiling of the services in Lagos, General Manager of 3Line, Funke Ade-Ojo explained that Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given its approval and that the network conforms to the CBN's e-payment regulatory framework.
She told reporters that the aims of Freedom Network “are to bring about and expand the aspiration of Nigerians in under-served and un-served areas through the availability of a secure platform and infrastructure that is open to all.”
While sharing how her company would attract the informal sector into the network, she said the under-banked segment of the economy would be reached with Point of Service (PoS) devices to provide universal service (US) access to financial and light banking services known as “Street Banking.”
Street Banking is a “customer friendly and cost effective way of providing secure, light banking services to groups of people in a community using existing merchants within the same community who are known and trusted,” she said.
“Freedom Cards are already accepted on the Interswitch network for ATM cash withdrawal nationwide; we began tests with the national central switch, and have collaborated with several technology and marketing service providers,” she added.
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