Ecobank Nigeria says its vision to use agency banking scheme to drive entrepreneurship, provide employment opportunities and supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) is yielding fruits, as over 32,000 Nigerians including former employees and retirees have adopted the scheme to sustain their everyday living. According to the bank apart from helping to drive its financial inclusion strategy in Nigeria, the agents were empowered to create wealth and enjoy financial freedom.
Head of Agency Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, Olanike Kolawole stated this while responding to media questions in Lagos. According to Kolawole the customer experience is very good as customers can do the simple deposit, payment and transfers in their own neighbourhoods rather than travel for hours to a bank branch.
“These are all parts of our efforts as a bank to help more Nigerians embrace entrepreneurship as best strategy to tackle poverty and address growing unemployment. We are happy with our agency banking services providers also known as our Xpress point agents, knowing they are playing a critical role in helping us reach out to the unbanked and underbanked in the society. They are bringing more people to the banking space through their services. They carry out financial transactions on our behalf and earn commission on every transaction processed. Also, the Xpress Point is also a channel that is also being used for the deployment of national social intervention programmes of the government”. She stated
Nike Kolawole cataloged the services offered by the Xpress point agents as cash in, cash out, fund transfer, bills payment, airtime recharge, remittance and account opening, among others. She said the services are available for “sole proprietors, partnerships, co-operative societies, microfinance banks, companies with large distribution network – like petrol stations, FMCGs, telecommunication companies, super agents, aggregators and unregistered businesses such as petty traders, hair saloon and others.
Ecobank boasts of a bouquet of digital channels comprising solutions aimed at delivering convenient, accessible and reliable financial services. The USSD platform: *326#, makes it possible to open an Xpress account and Xpress Save account instantly. The bank’s mobile banking app, Ecobank Mobile offers the option of generating a virtual card; this comes in handy as customers are continually turning to web payments for their shopping. There is also the Ecobank virtual card, which offers the flexibility and convenience of creating a shopping card that is not linked to a customer’s account but is fully capable of carrying out online payments. The virtual card can also be shared with loved ones as a gift card for their own shopping.