NIGERIA: CBN grants Freedom Network Super-Agent license
BAYO AZEEZ, Lagos
The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has granted an approval-in-principle, AIP, to 3Line Card Limited to operate as a super-agent in the nation’s financial services system in order to boost financial inclusion in Nigeria.
To realize the objective of financial inclusion, 3Line will work closely with the CBN, commercial banks, microfinance banks, other financial institutions [OFIs], government, ministries, departments, and agencies [MDAs] and other stakeholders to provide financial services to the underserved and unbanked population.
The network aims to ensure access to affordable financial services through its agent network, Freedom Network.
The platform would recruit 200,000 agents in five years, to address social challenges in key areas such as savings, credit accessibility, insurance, government social intervention disbursement etc.
The MD/CEO of the company, Femi Omogbenigun in a statement, commended the CBN for the super-agent license, adding that the license would assist the company to deliver numerous gains to the Nigerian economy including enhancing financial access, financial inclusion, sustainability and growth of the small and medium [SMEs] enterprises.
He explained that the company would redefine the concept of agent banking through the Freedom Network, and would assist in the provision of financial services to the unbanked Nigerians as well as deepen the idea of a cashless society.
According to him, the Freedom Network is a multi-channel agent banking network that allows the agent to choose their preferred mode of operation including the point of sale [PoS], mobile phone, mobile point of sale or a Web interface to perform transactions.
These services run on a single robust electronic payment processing infrastructure, he explained.
“We will provide financial inclusion to the under-banked and unbanked, bridge the gap between citizens and providers of financial and non-financial services in Nigeria and use cost-effective technology to provide Nigerians affordable financial services within communities”, he said.
While disclosing that his company is targeting 200,000 agents within five years and 20,000 agents in the first year of operations, he listed the products and services on the network as account opening, cash withdrawal, cash deposit, funds transfer and bill payment.
Other services are airtime vending, thrift collection, micro-loans and insurance, mini statement, customer service and request management.
Omogbenigun also promised that the Freedom Network will offer unmatched commission to its agents, ensure transaction security, system reliability with 99.9 per cent uptime and ease of use for agents and customers.