Ecobank enters agency banking business to lift SMEs

Ecobank Nigeria has introduced an agency banking scheme for operators in the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) in the country.

The initiative is to support the federal government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) vision for financial inclusion across the country.

About 100,000 entrepreneurs are being targeted to benefit from this scheme aimed to help small business owners to diversify their income streams.

Head of SME at Ecobank, Mr Emeka Agada, explained that the programme will make it easy for entrepreneurs and small businesses to become the bank’s agents.

“This laudable initiative is to empower small businesses and create new entrepreneurs. It is open to every honest and enterprising adult capable of using smartphones and/ or Point of Sale (PoS) Machines as well as every small and medium enterprise subject to their meeting the terms and conditions as set out for agents,” he said, urging entrepreneurs “to join the Ecobank Smart SME Agent network today and become a mobile financial services provider,” he said.

Agada explained further that an Xpresspoint agent could perform basic banking services such as account opening, deposit collection for Ecobank, interbank transfers to other banks, card and card-less withdrawals, bill payment, airtime top-up, remittance services amongst others.

According to him, agents will earn money through-fees and commission on all successful transactions done through the agency. Ecobank will also train the agents and provide branding materials for free.

Commenting on the initiative, the Head of Ecobank Agency Network, Mrs Nike Kolawole, commended the scheme, noting that it remains the best in the industry today, urging small businesses to partner with the bank to drive financial inclusion and employment.

 Kolawole stressed that “banking has greatly evolved and has become closer to the people. With the introduction of Agency banking, no one needs to visit a bank branch to carry out a transaction.

“With your phone, you can perform your own transaction or perform transactions for other people on behalf of the bank and earn commissions.

“I encourage the youth and owners of small businesses (men and women) to use this initiative to expand their revenue streams while offering this value-added service to customers.”

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