As a part of efforts to deepen Financial Inclusion in Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria Limited extended the Agent Banking campaign to 14 major markets and business points across Bayelsa, Cross River and Delta States.
The Market Activation which spanned over three weeks between November 24 and December 16, 2018 was an intensive period of customer engagement, education and awareness creation of the Firstmonie Agent Network and by extension, Financial Inclusion. The Market Activation took place in Ogbonogo Market, Koka Junction, Bonsac Junction, Ibusa Junction (Delta States) while Calabar, Cross River State had the event at Mobil Junction, Etagbor Junction, Watt Market, Marian and Etim Edem Markets. Swali, Tomba, Opolo and Nembe communities also felt the impact of our activation campaign in Bayelsa State. In just about 18 months, the FirstmonieAgent Network has expanded to almost every local government area in Nigeria (98% coverage) demonstrating our readiness to make financial services available to everyone irrespective of their location. Firstmonie Agents are positioned within rural and semi-urban locations across the country to provide basic financial services such as account opening, cash deposit, cash withdrawals, airtime purchase, bill payments and much more to every Nigerian. Through this channel, the Bank is committed to providing convenient services that endear trust, provide ease of access to financial products, thereby saving time and travel costs. Transactions carried out through this channel are securely authenticated. The Agent Banking model, which is in line with the mandate of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is targeted at ensuring individuals and members of the public irrespective of their literacy levels, familiarity with technology or income levels can access financial services. The FirstmonieAgent Channel delivers financial services outside conventional bank branches, often using non-retail agents, Firstmonie Agents - and relying on technology such as point-of-sale (POS) terminals or mobile phones for real time transaction processing.
According to the Group Head, eBusiness, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Chuma Ezirim, “with our Firstmonie Agents that spread across the country, we are aggressive at increasing the penetration of financial services, especially in the suburbs whilst significantly reducing the unbanked in the country, we encourage the patronage of Firstmonie Agents irrespective of the location as these Agents are well trained to provide the FirstBank Gold Standard Services to customers."