Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), a financial sector development organization that promotes financial inclusion in Nigeria, in its recent evaluation method has called for increasing access to finance through agent banking in Nigeria, as it cited unsteady income, unemployment and distance location of bank branches in the country as major barriers at its recently forum in Lagos.
According to management sources, agent banking refers to the delivery of financial services outside conventional bank branches and that entails the use of non-bank retail outlets that rely on technologies such as point-of-sale (POS) terminals, or mobile phones, for real-time transaction processing.
Heads of Retail Banking and Strategy of the Deposit Money Banks and Mobile Payments Operators in Nigeria were among the participants that highlighted the most effective methods for developing an agent network in Nigeria and its benefits at affordable costs and in a wider range of income segments of the society.
Chief Executive Officer, EFInA, Modupe Ladipo, said “in order to achieve universal access to financial services, banks will need to adapt their systems to low-value, high volume transactional environment with numerous points of access, at which people can conveniently conduct financial transactions.”
EFInA also presented findings of their evaluation and assessment of global agent banking models, and highlighted the key elements that should be adopted in the regulatory framework for agent banking in Nigeria.
Keynote speaker, Chief Executive Officer, Top Image, Ms. Jennifer Barassa, said that agents play an important role in acquiring new customers that enable them to transact and keep the customer satisfied.” She also outlined the challenges of agent banking and as well possible remedies.