By Elizabeth BanyiTabi
Leading insurance company, Prudential Beneficial, and MTN’s Mobile Money Corporation have launched an innovative product, aimed at ensuring educational continuity of children whose parents may have died or become incapacitated.
The product, baptised Degree Insurance, was launched during an official press conference which took place on Monday at the conference hall of Krystal Palace Hotel in Akwa Douala. The ceremony was attended by top managing officials of both Prudential Beneficial and MTN Cameroon.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Prudential Francophone Africa, Eddie Ford Brown, said that, the approach to micro-insurance coverage in Cameroon, with mobile digital solutions adds up to Prudential’s ideals of “helping people getting the best out of life” and providing educational solutions that meet the greater common need.
Ford went ahead to recount the story of a young man who had lost his parents and could not afford an education due to lack of money. He said: “We want to put an end to seeing children on the streets begging money when they should be at school …we want children to be able to continue their education up to the university level”.
Nkwenti Handsome Brain, CEO Prudential Cameroon, revealed that Prudential Group, despite being the top provider in health insurance coverage, insurance penetration in Cameroon is less than 2%. This weak level of penetration, he said, could be explained by the public’s general belief that insurance companies dupe people of the money.
However, Nkwenti used the opportunity to reassure customers of the viability of Prudential’s services. An approach to service which, he said, has taken Prudential this far, being global financial services group that provides life insurance, pensions and asset management products and services to approximately 20 million customers in Asia and Africa, covering eight African countries, namely Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria. For almost ten years, the life insurer has been offering with a customer range of more 1.7 million customers, through a distribution network of more than 13,000 distribution channels and agents with 600 branches.
These figure did not leave Prudential Mobile Money partner indifferent as the CEO of MTN’s Mobile Money Corporation, Alain Claude Mono, revealed that it motivated them to partner with Prudential and provide them the means to penetrate the market through MMC customer reach.
“MMC is a widely used payment method in the payments ecosystem in Cameroon and today offers the largest number of payment accounts to customers. It is within this framework that we facilitate the payment experience for Beneficial Insurance customers. In addition, the diversity of products and services we offer to the market is part of our overall growth strategy,” Mono said.
He said MMC shall be providing customers of Prudential Beneficial with an MTN Mobile Money payment account that will allow them to make transactions free of charge. Moreover, Prudential shall benefit from MMC’s experience in activating accounts in the field.
Jasmine Yondja Kakanou, Chief of Staff of Prudential Beneficial Insurance, in her presentation of the product, noted that, Degree Insurance is a solution offered by Prudential Beneficial Insurance in partnership with MTN Mobile Money, to provide parents/sponsors the possibility of securing the education of their child in the case of death or permanent disability before the child obtains a Bachelor’s Degree.
“The policy guarantees the continuation of your children’s education in case of any eventualities. To benefit from it, a person can subscribe with a one-off fee of 500 FCFA by dialing the code *039#, fill the teller with necessary information concerning the child, parents or guardian on the mobile phone, after which payment of a monthly fee of 1,750 FCFA is made,” she said.
With 1,750 FCFA per month, a child benefits up to 250,000 FCFA tuition fees each year until they obtain their Bachelor’s Degree, 50,000 FCFA until obtaining of the First School Leaving Certificate and 75,000 FCFA until obtaining Advanced level certificate. The system, it was disclosed, is affordable and at the reach of person of all walks of life.