In a bid to drive financial inclusion and deepen financial services across the nooks and crannies of Nigeria through cost effective channels, First Bank of Nigeria Limited re-launched her Firstmonie Agent network in July 2017 with a pilot of the Agent Banking scheme in 6 highly populated States – Lagos, Oyo, Kano, Abuja FCT, Anambra, Rivers.
After an impressive 6-month pilot that ended in December 2017, the Agent Banking scheme was extended nationwide in January, 2018. Within 6 months of its launch, the scheme has made appreciable progress with a pervasive network spread across every State, and almost every Local Government Area nationwide (over 98% coverage).
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 and safe.
The Firstmonie Agent network is succeeding in reducing the financial exclusion rate nationwide (a very critical objective of the Central Bank of Nigeria). In addition, the network has proven to be a reliable and efficient means of solving social welfare problems. The creation of extra jobs and sustainable income through the network has endeared Agents to the platform, while the ease of transacting has been a major factor in conserving customer loyalty.
According to the Group Head, eBusiness, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Chuma Ezirim, “FirstBank, is focused on building a quality Agent network in the country by deploying a robust risk framework and the right product mix to ensure viability and security of the network, aimed at deepening Financial Services access, especially in the unserved and underserved segments of our market. We therefore, encourage individuals in these local communities to look out for the Firstmonie Agent locations closest to them”.