Chartered Institute of Bankers says it has unveiled agency banking certification for point of sales agents, NIN /BVN agents, and agent banking personnel in the banks and fintech companies to strengthen the financial inclusion system.
In a statement, the institute said the programme was launched at its 16th annual conference in Abuja.
The President and Chairman of Council, CIBN, Ken Opara, said that CIBN introduced the Agent Banking Certification programme to address capacity challenges in the ecosystem.
He said, “Agent banking has been the key driver of financial inclusion, which creates financial access points and ultimately eradicates poverty.
“It is democratising banking services, taking it to the grassroots and connecting to the nooks and crane of the country.”
Speaking also, Prof. Olayinka West of Lagos Business School, said that the certification programme was a good and welcome idea which would build and extend standardisation and credibility to the agency banking framework that started slowly and is now a legitimate channel for delivering banking services.
She said, “Ensuring that agents have the right knowledge and skill set to deliver quality customer experience on behalf of regulated institutions with credibility is important. Using indirect channels to deliver services has the challenge of trust and to ensure that customers are protected requires equipping the third party with the right knowledge for transparency.”
On her part, the Head of Agency banking, Ecobank, Mrs Olanike Kolawole, said, “To set up a bank branch requires between N300m to N350m while to set up an agent is just having a trusted person with Point of Sale terminal and he/she does the same services that a bank branch will do. So, it is cheaper for us, and we see them as partners hence strengthening their operation through certification for professionalism.”
The Managing Director of Ecosystem Network, Fasasi Atanda, said, “It has been a lot of work from the ideation to conception, to proposition, to adoption and to commission in the programme.”