Wema Bank Plc, Nigeria’s longest serving indigenous Bank and pioneer of Africa’s first fully digital bank ALAT, has introduced agent banking in Kano as it seeks to deepen its retail footprint across informal economic sectors of the North-Western states and to drive financial inclusion within the entire northern region of the country.
Agent Bank is a cost-effective medium employed by Banks 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, Fund transfer, Bills payment, Airtime Recharge etc, through 3rd Parties (Agents).
Kano state is a huge state with 44 LGAs and arguably the biggest market in Northern Nigeria. Wema Bank is keen to rapidly expand its presence across the state and capture the larger market by employing Agent Banking to recruit at least 1 Agent in each LGA.
Already, 13 Fixed Agents have been engaged and trained. These agents will support the Bank’s aggressive push to capture the retail market by banking small and micro businesses as well as informal workers and rural dwellers.
According to Dotun Ifebogun, Head of Retail Banking at Wema Bank, Kano offers the Bank a strategic inroad into an attractive economic region in the North West. Leveraging Agent banking helps the Bank to meet two strategic objectives; support the Central Bank’s financial inclusion drive while using 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.
He added that the Bank will look to include micro-lending in the services Agent Bankers provide to customers in a bid to support the growth of small and micro businesses.
The Bank has successfully introduced the Agent Banking services in all geopolitical zones in the country (Abuja, Calabar, Uyo, Asaba, Benin, Ibadan, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Kano, Minna, Kaduna, Bauchi, Lokoja, Aba, & Lagos).
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.
In May 2017, the Bank launched ALAT, a digital bank that allows you open an fully-functional account without visiting a physical branch. The Bank incentivizes savings by putting a 10% interest rate on savings goal. ALAT customers can also save together as a group in a model similar to the popular Ajo or Esusu.