Nigerian lender, Heritage Bank has grown the number of outlets that offer agent banking on its behalf to 400, as it seeks to expand its reach to rural and unbanked communities.
The Bank revealed its newest and 400th outlet after it signed up Thy Grace—a local agent—to provide a range of financial services to customers in the neighbourhood of Mowo, a town under the Badagary Local Government Area.
The strategy behind establishing these informal banking outlets, which Heritage Bank terms ‘Corner Shops’, is to effectively reach the unbanked, especially those residing in rural communities. It aims to provide them with the opportunity to enjoy financial services within their neighbourhood while taking away the risk and cost of travelling several kilometres to visit a Bank.
Hunyingan Pius Mifrinso, promoter of Thy Grace, noted that previously for anyone within his community to conduct a simple banking transaction, they would have to travel to Badagary Town and incur a minimum transportation cost of N400 ($1.2). However, with a licence from Heritage Bank to conduct basic financial services, this cost would be completely eliminated.
Beyond targeting rural communities, the Bank’s Managing Director, Ifie Sekibo, explained that the Bank is using agent banking to enhance its retail banking prospects by targeting the informal sectors in urban settlements.
“The bank has continued to set a standard in the launching of ‘Corner Shop’ to cater for the need of traders and artisans at different locations across the country,” Mr Sekibo noted.
Heritage Bank is a Nigerian Bank with presence across the entire country. The Bank’s assets are valued at an estimated $1.7 billion.