The management of Polaris Bank has introduced its agency banking solution as part of its digital banking strategy to serve as a vehicle to reach the unbanked and underbanked, as well as to deepen financial inclusion across Nigeria.
In a statement, the Polaris agency banking solution known as ‘SurePadi,’ was designed to provide convenient and easy access to funds and other banking services in far-flung neighborhoods, through partnerships with existing and new retail outlets.
According to the Chief Digital Officer of Polaris Bank, Mr. Dele Adeyinka, “The introduction of SurePadi is in line with our plan to deepen financial inclusion by serving the huge unbanked and underbanked population especially in locations where basic banking services are far from reach.”
Adeyinka, further stated that, “With Nigeria’s financial exclusion rate currently at 36.8 percent according to CBN, the goal of achieving 20 percent this year to close the exclusion gap of 16.8 percent is also a factor driving our SurePadi Banking Solution.”
He added: “The SurePadi banking solution is also one of the ways we are helping to reduce unemployment in the country because when you sign up an agent, one of the benefits is that it provides a means of earning additional disposable income.”
Agency banking service is a convenient way of providing limited banking services to customers through the use of agents who usually are non-traditional bankers or banking businesses.
Services offered by SurePadi include account opening, funds transfer, deposit funds, cash withdrawals, bills payment, airtime top up amongst other services. It pointed out that SurePadi Agents earn additional income in addition to improved status in the community through brand affiliation with Polaris Bank.
It noted that customers on the other hand would enjoy the convenience and ease that comes with the service, plus low cost of transacting as they are able to save the cost of transportation to banks; they are also able to access funds anytime of the day, beyond banking hours (weekends and public holidays).
“A SurePadi Agent can be a registered business such as Limited Liability Company, sole proprietorship, partnership, cooperative society, a large retail distribution network, petrol filling stations (Preferably one with a Supermarket or Store) and dealers in FMCG.
“In addition, unregistered businesses or individuals including supermarkets, retail outlets, and distributors of mobile network operators, business centers, boutiques, provision shops, and sport viewing centers also qualify to be a SurePadi Agents.
“Customers wishing to become Polaris SurePadi Agents, are advised to visit the nearest Polaris Bank branch with a passport photograph and a valid means of identification: driver’s license; national identity card, International passport or voters’ card and utility bill (not less than three months from time of presentation).”