Data-Driven Agency Banking Will Unlock Nigeria’s Financial Potential – Mr ‘Deremi Atanda }{ The Scoper Media 

L-R: Representative of the Emir of Gaya, Abdulrahman Mohammed; President, Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents Nigeria, Victor Olojo; National Vice President 2, AMMBAN, Dr. Obioha Oti; Senior Vice President, Offline, Flutterwave; Dotun Adekunle; and Managing Director, Remita Payment Services Limited, ‘Deremi Atanda, at the 7th AMMBAN National Conference, held recently in Abuja.

 

 

     In a captivating address delivered at the 7th National Conference of the Association of Mobile Money and Bank Agents in Nigeria (AMMBAN) held in Abuja on November 22nd, Mr Deremi Atanda, Managing Director of Remita Payment Services Limited (RPSL), outlined a human-centric approach to agency banking as a cornerstone for advancing financial inclusion nationwide.

The conference, centred around the theme “The Future of Agency Banking: Creating Value for Sustainable Reliance,” provided a platform for industry leaders to explore and shape the trajectory of agency banking in Nigeria.

During his presentation, Mr Atanda stated he envisioned mobile money and bank agents as central to the future of financial services, emphasising their role in digital transformation, trust-building, and the expansion of services. He further underscored the importance of trust, human interaction, and data-driven solutions, positioning agents as key contributors to the evolving landscape of financial services.

“The landscape of digital service distribution will persistently centre around agents. While we are on the path of increasing penetration, agents serve as pivotal locations for contact or interaction with the digital sphere and will continue to flourish. We presently observe a network comprising approximately 1.5 million agents, yet it might surprise you that the market holds potential for over 20 million agents. This signifies a scenario where every individual with access to a digital touchpoint can potentially act as an agent,” he said.

Agency banking is a strategic approach used by financial institutions to expand their reach and provide essential banking services to customers in remote or underserved areas. This model involves partnering with authorised third-party agents, typically retail outlets or community-based organisations, who act as intermediaries to deliver basic banking services on behalf of the partnering bank.

This banking model has emerged as a transformative force in the Nigerian financial landscape as the country continues to embrace digitalization. According to data from the CBN, in 2021, the total value of transactions processed through agency banking outlets reached a staggering ₦14.2 trillion ($38.9 billion). This represents a remarkable increase from ₦2.9 trillion ($8.0 billion) in 2018. While this development holds promise for the economy, Mr Atanda believes that its ongoing success will be contingent upon finding more effective methods of humanising the business model.

“The inherent trust in human connections surpasses any other channel. Hence, in numerous present-day services, the human interface remains an indispensable component. Establishing trust with individuals, regardless of the mode of connection, positions one as the primary contact. These principles are well-founded and substantiated. Digital platforms merely serve as conduits for delivering these services, underscoring the reality and feasibility of this approach,” he remarked.

In his keynote address, Mr Atanda explored the transformative power of data in accelerating digital transformation and driving new economic opportunities. He uncovered how strategic collaboration can unleash valuable insights, drive innovation, and tackle complex challenges, sharing best practices to make informed assessments.

“Data is the cornerstone of Agency 3.0, empowering agents to transcend their current role and become trusted financial advisors, driving responsible borrowing, combating fraud, and facilitating financial inclusion. By embracing data as an indispensable tool, agents can provide instant credit solutions, streamline processes, and enhance customer experiences, fostering a future where data becomes the lifeblood of economic growth and prosperity.”

Describing the next phase of agency banking as “Agency 3.0,” Mr Atanda noted that agents will remain central to the distribution of digital services, particularly in areas with limited internet penetration or digital literacy. He further added that “In the era of Agency 3.0, agents will transcend their current role as mere transaction facilitators to become trusted hubs for digital products and services, driving financial inclusion and economic empowerment through their extensive network and deep understanding of customer needs.”

Mr ‘Deremi Atanda is a distinguished business leader and visionary known for his wealth of industry knowledge and expertise. His progressive mindset and unwavering dedication to collaboration have played a pivotal role in addressing social and economic challenges within the financial technology sector.

ABOUT REMITA

Remita Payment Services Limited stands as a prominent provider of electronic payment solutions, catering to the needs of Nigeria and extending its services across Africa. With an unwavering dedication to simplifying financial transactions and offering comprehensive financial solutions, Remita has been instrumental in assisting businesses in optimising their operations. Under the astute leadership of ‘Deremi Atanda, Remita consistently delivers state-of-the-art payment solutions to a wide spectrum of organisations across diverse sectors.

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