In order to achieve universal access to formal financial services, which requires pervasive and sustainable agent networks across the nation, EFInA has provided capacity building for financial services stakeholders to drive the increased deployment of pervasive agent networks in Nigeria.
According to the company, financial inclusion is a key driver of economic development. Indeed, the more people that are included, the more they have access to financial services that will ultimately improve their leaving conditions and gradually get out of poverty.
It said many studies have revealed the importance of agent networks in driving access to financial services, especially at the last mile. Nigeria currently has about 22 deposit money banks, over 800 microfinance banks, 25 mobile money operators, yet, 36.6 million adults, which is 36.8 per cent of the total adult population, remain financially excluded.
The National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) identified agent networks as one of the important channels required to achieve the Financial Inclusion target. Going by the shift from physical bank branches to branchless banking globally, the revised NFIS strategy considers increasing the agent target from 62 to 476 agents per 100,000 adults by 2020. As such, there is a need to build the capacity of the stakeholders to achieve this target. It is estimated that at least 500,000 agents should be available to serve about 105 million adult population in Nigeria by the year 2020.
In pursuit of EFInA’s goal to provide capacity building for financial services stakeholders to drive the increased deployment of pervasive agent networks across Nigeria, and at the end grow financial inclusion agenda, EFInA hosted a two-day intensive training for financial services providers on “Essentials for deploying sustainable agent networks in Nigeria”.
Participants were senior executives from deposit money banks, microfinance banks, mobile money operators, super agents, telcos, fintech companies and regulators. The main objective of the training was to create a platform for key financial services stakeholders to understand in practical terms how to drive the increase of widespread and sustainable agent networks across Nigeria. The training provided insights on areas like agency banking strategy development at organisational level; channel development; product development for agency banking; agent network management; risk and fraud management; consumer protection and retention, among others.