By Anthony Nwachukwu
With over 32,000 Nigerians, including former employees and retirees, living daily through the scheme, Ecobank Nigeria says its vision of driving entrepreneurship, employment opportunities by supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) was already yielding fruits.
Head of Ecobank Nigeria Agency Banking, Olanike Kolawole, told the media in Lagos that apart from helping to drive its financial inclusion strategy, the agents were also empowered to create wealth and enjoy financial freedom.
According to Kolawole, customers can make simple deposit, payment and transfers in their neighbourhoods instead of traveling for hours to a bank branch, and these are parts of the bank’s efforts to help more Nigerians embrace entrepreneurship as the best strategy out of poverty and unemployment.
“We are happy with our agency banking services providers, also known as our Xpress Point agents, knowing they are playing a critical role in helping us reach out to the unbanked and underbanked in the society,” Kolawole said.
“They are bringing more people to the banking space through their services. They carry out financial transactions on our behalf and earn commission on every transaction processed. The Xpress Point is also a channel being used for the deployment of government’s national social intervention programmes.”
She listed the services offered by the Xpress Point agents to include cash in, cash out, fund transfer, bills payment, airtime recharge, remittances and account opening, among others.
According to her, these are available for “sole proprietors, partnerships, co-operative societies, microfinance banks, companies with large distribution network – like petrol stations, FMCGs, telecommunication companies, super agents, aggregators and unregistered businesses such as petty traders, hair saloon operators.