First Bank of Nigeria said it has extended its agency banking campaign to 14 major markets and business points across Bayelsa, Cross River and Delta State, in an effort to deepen financial inclusion in the country.
A statement released by the bank said the market activation took place between November 24 and December 16, 2018 and was an intensive period of customer engagement, education and awareness creation of the Firstmonie agent network.
First Bank’s statement revealed that “in just about 18 months, the Firstmonie agent network has expanded to almost every local government area in Nigeria (98% coverage) demonstrating our readiness to make financial services available to everyone irrespective of their location”.
The bank also said that “Firstmonie Agents are positioned within rural and semi-urban locations across the country to provide basic financial services such as account opening, cash deposit, cash withdrawals, airtime purchase, bill payments and much more to every Nigerian”.
In a bid to explain the benefits of the service, the statement released by the bank said “through this channel, the bank is committed to providing convenient services that endear trust, provide ease of access to financial products, thereby saving time and travel costs. Transactions carried out through this channel are securely authenticated”.
The agent banking model is in line with the mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria and it is designed to ensure individuals and members of the public irrespective of their literacy levels, familiarity with technology or income levels can access financial services.
The FirstmonieAgent Channel delivers financial services outside conventional bank branches, often using non-retail agents called Firstmonie Agents. The initiative relies on technology such as point-of-sale (POS) terminals or mobile phones for real time transaction processing.