From Benjamin a ameh, Lagos
The massive number of population living in Otta and its environs, near Lagos but belong to Ogun State, have attracted the management of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) to hits the town with agent banking system as means to bring unbanked and underbanked populates to the main stream of financial services.
This was done in collaboration with Kuntel Pharmacy with as an Agent banking, designated to serve the targeted areas which is aimed at promoting financial inclusion.
This strategy will provides banking services to the people in Otta and its environs 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 part of it responsibility to promote the financial policy of the central bank of Nigeria CBN’s financial inclusion initiatives in other to reach out to millions of the unbanked and underbanked people with the financial system and also empowering them to become economically viable.
Bakre pointed out 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.
The Executive Director noted that the initiative would change the landscape of banking, saying that it will further create economic empowerment for communities.
Bakre underscored the benefits of agent banking, in his word, “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.
In the same vein, 3line Management Cards organisation, which powered FCMB Agency Banking Services, through its Vice-President, Business Development, Mr. Femi Omogbenigun, throws more light about the partnership with FCMB which will leverage on 3line’s electronic payment infrastructure to deliver its agency banking to encourage financial services in a cost effective manner.
Omogbenigun lectured all stakeholders at event that “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.”
The event attracted people into banking as new accounts were opened including new ATM cards were issued with instant activation of the card at the agent location.
According to source who witnesses the event, said, the turn up was encouraging, with hope that the services thereafter will be as effective and sustainable going forward.