Barcelona, Spain - GSMA Mobile World Congress - Clickatell, global leader in high value messaging, is providing in-country SMS alert services to Satelite Microfinance Bank in collaboration with Neptune Software Plc. Satelite's customers now receive real-time, priority alert messaging via Clickatell's Secure Enterprise Mobile Messaging Gateway, notifying them when transactions are taking place on their credit and debit accounts.  

"Microfinance has fast become an important part of financial services as institutions serve previously under or un-served markets. Providing reach, connectivity and ubiquity, mobility is standing at the center of this high growth sector as the next billion consumers begin to receive a whole new breed of financial services," said Pieter de Villiers, Clickatell CEO. "Emerging markets are showing a tremendous ability to leap-frog developed markets in terms of technology adoption and regulatory reform. In fact, there are three times more mobile payment and mobile banking initiatives in emerging markets than in developed markets."

Experts estimate that 20-30 billion dollars are currently on loan to more than 50 million microfinance borrowers around the globe. Moreover, approximately 70% of the Nigerian population is un- or under-banked, an exploding demographic to take advantage of microfinance services.

Microfinance refers to financial services provided to low-income people, usually to help support self-employment. Examples of microfinance products include: small loans, savings plans, insurance, payment transfer, SMS alerts and other services that are provided in small increments that low-income individuals can afford. These services help families start and build "micro" enterprises, the very small businesses that are important sources of employment, income, and economic vitality in developing countries worldwide. Because salaried or wage-paying jobs are scarce in many developing countries, most citizens earn their livings through self-employment, creating and operating their own small enterprises. But without financial options to fuel productivity, they cannot grow their businesses to help escape poverty. The microfinance movement was born to ease the suffering caused by poverty, and to awaken the under-capitalized productivity of the world's working poor.

"Utilizing the ubiquity of mobile phones in our country, we've been able to create a cost effective and reliable direct line of communication between us and our customers ensuring far more personalised and cost effective banking service," said Nnamdi Chizea, Divisional Head, Operations & Treasury Management for Satelite MFB. "Satelite MFB is proud to have the backing of global players, Clickatell and Neptune Software, as we lead Africa's charge to provide much needed access to financial services to the continent."

Satelite MFB currently has operations in eight locations across Nigeria, an expansive ATM infrastructure, and inter-connected branches, offering on-line real time transaction processing, made possible by the investments made in advanced technology and mobile financial services. In addition to offering retail and small business savings, loan and credit facilities Satelite MFB is also a Western Union money transfer agent.

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