By Dipo Olowookere
As part of its continued efforts of deepening its retail footprint across informal economic sectors of the country, Nigeria’s longest serving indigenous bank and pioneer of Africa’s first fully digital bank ALAT, Wema Bank Plc, has introduced its agent banking services in Bauchi.
Agent Bank is a cost-effective medium employed by financial institutions to provide financial access to unbanked, underbanked, and branch-starved communities.
It is the provision of basic financial services such as Account Opening, Cash deposit, Cash withdrawal, Funds transfer, Bills payment, Airtime Recharge etc., through 3rd Parties (Agents).
To support the ongoing retail push in Bauchi State, Wema Bank has recruited four agents, who have so far onboarded over 500 rural farmers and workers within the informal agric sector of the state as well as those residing in neighbouring cities, towns and villages in the North.
According to Dotun Ifebogun, Head of Retail Banking at Wema Bank, Agent Banking offers a cost-effective medium to rapidly expand the Bank’s presence and capture a largely untapped market of those operating in informal business sectors across the country.
“We believe this strategy complements greatly our retail expansion plan and ensures we can target unbanked and branch-starved communities in a quick and cost-effective manner,” Dotun added.
The bank has successfully introduced Agent Banking services across all geopolitical zones in the country, with over 600 Agents (Roaming & Fixed Agents) serving customers.
Over the years, Wema Bank has continued to grow its retail capacity by providing solutions tailored to suit the lifestyle of its customers and built to deliver value to all stakeholders.
Last May, the lender launched ALAT, a digital bank that allows you open a fully-functional account without visiting a physical branch. The Bank incentivizes savings by putting a 10 percent interest rate on savings goal. ALAT customers can also save together as a group in a model similar to the popular Ajo or Esusu.
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