Nigeria: FCMB commences Agent Banking
As part of efforts to encourage the huge number of unbanked and underbanked Nigerians living in rural communities, First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has launched an agent banking system in Otta, Ogun state.
This was done collaboration with Kuntel Pharmacy.
Agent banking, which is aimed at promoting financial inclusion is to provide banking services to the people in Otta through point of sale (POS) terminals that enables customers open account instantly and obtain an ATM card as well as to deposit their money.
Speaking at the event held in Otta, the Executive Director, Lagos and South West Region, FCMB, Mr. Olufemi Bakre, said the initiative is to support the central bank’s financial inclusion initiatives aimed at reaching out to millions of the unbanked Nigerians in the financial system and also empowering them to become economically viable.
He explained that the agents would carry out basic banking activities including account opening, deposit, withdrawal, money transfer from account to account, payment of bills like DSTV, GoTV, electricity bills and also airtime top-ups on phones.
“All of these would happen at the agent shop/premises. An agent is someone with an existing location/address (shop, kiosk or office). This can be a chemist, supermarket, market stall, internet café, barber’s shop and provision stores among others,” he added.
According to him, the initiative would change the landscape of banking, saying that it will further create economic empowerment for communities.
Continuing, he said that it would boost job creation by increasing the customer base of their partners and most importantly create convenience of banking for the people of Otta and other localities where our agents are already located.
“We have put necessary machinery in place to ensure that they have core state in terms of security for the agents and we have 4600 agent banking to roll out by 2016,” Bakre assured.
Meanwhile, 3line Management Cards organisation, which powered FCMB Agency Banking Services, through its Vice-President, Business Development, Mr. Femi Omogbenigun, explained that through the partnership, FCMB would leverage on 3line’s electronic payment infrastructure to deliver its agency banking and financial inclusion services in a cost effective manner.
He added: “The solution is implemented in line with the CBN’s agency-banking framework. The backend system supports all requirements of the CBN such as online real time transaction processing and settlement across the transaction chain, risk management measures and various customised transaction and activity reports.”
During the programme, neighbours rushed to the venue to open accounts and were issued ATM cards with instant activation the card at the sgent location.