There are now 30,000 Ecobank agency banking locations spread across Nigeria as the bank continues the drive to encourage entrepreneurship, provide employment opportunities and support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
Speaking on the bank’s current promotion to reward high-flying Xpress Point Agents across the six geo-political zones in the country, the Head, Agency Banking, in Ecobank Nigeria, Olanike Kolawole said there were many inherent rewards and benefits of being an agency banking partner, stating that stated that apart from helping to drive Ecobank’s financial inclusion strategy in Nigeria, the agents were being empowered to create wealth and enjoy financial freedom.
She said the bank was happy with its Xpress Point agents, knowing they were playing a crucial role in helping reach out to the unbanked and under-banked in the society. “That is why we have designed a reward system for them”, she explained, pointing out that “They are bringing more people to the banking space through their services. They carry out financial transactions on our behalf and earn commission on every transaction processed. The customer experience is very good as customers can do simple deposit, payment, and transfers in their own neighbourhood rather than travel for hours to a bank branch. The Xpress Point is also a channel that is being used for the deployment of national social intervention programmes of the government”.
The Group Head listed the services offered by the Xpress point agents as: cash in, cash out, fund transfer, bills payment, airtime recharge, remittances and account opening, among others. She added that the services are available for MSMEs, sole proprietors, partnerships, co-operative societies, microfinance banks, companies with large distribution network – like petrol stations, FMCGs, telecommunication companies, super agents, aggregators and unregistered businesses such as petty traders, hair salon and others.
She enjoined the youths and owners of small businesses to make use of the initiative to expand their revenue streams while offering the value-added service to customers.
Xpress Points are Ecobank approved agent locations that bring easy banking services closer to neighborhoods and the Agents offer simple banking services to solve financial needs without having to visit the bank.
Ecobank maintains a bouquet of digital channels comprising solutions aimed at delivering convenient, accessible and reliable financial services. These include the USSD platform, *326#, mobile banking app, and others.
Meanwhile, Ecobank, in conjunction with Vanguard Economic Forum Series is set to host its 2nd Agribusiness and Food Security Summit.
The primary content objective of summit is to discuss the role of technology and digitisation across the agricultural value chain. The virtual summit with the theme, “Digitizing the agricultural value chain for unlocking productivity, economic growth and food security”, is scheduled for Thursday, June 3rd 2021 and it will be broadcast and streamed live via Zoom and across Vanguard Newspapers and Ecobank social media channel platforms.
Strategic Partners to Ecobank on the summit are Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Nigerian Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (NASME). Others include the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG). The speakers and panelists will be drawn from government, development finance institutions, banking, trade associations, civil society, non-governmental organisations and subject matter experts in technology and agriculture.
Announcing the conference in Lagos, Head of Agribusiness at Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs. Mojisola Oguntoyinbo said the Summit is part of the bank’s determination to further showcase the potentials in the agricultural sector of the nation’s economy in partnership with Vanguard newspapers, the Economic Forum Series and Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG). According to her, the summit is also part of the bank’s continuous contribution to the growth and development of the agriculture sector.
Mrs. Oguntoyinbo explained that the virtual conference is in line with bank’s vision to consolidate a modern pan-African market, contribute to the economic development and financial integration of the continent.
The summit is expected to examine the potential impact of agriculture technology investment in solving the problem of low productivity in Nigeria’s food production; evaluate existing traditional agriculture finance models in Nigeria and the role and impact of technology enabled commodity exchange trading across the agriculture value chain, and the role of developmental partners and international agencies in driving funding and investments across the agriculture value chain.
Also speaking, Mr. Jude Ndu, Director, Vanguard Conferences and The Economic Forum Series said the newspaper was delighted with the ongoing high-level strategic partnership with Ecobank Nigeria in the area of concept development, synthesis, design and execution of high profile thematic bespoke events.
“As a media organisation”, he said, “this is our own way of contributing to the growth prospect of the sector through audience engagement by bringing together critical stakeholders to discuss solutions to the issues of low productivity and food insecurity in the country”.
The Ecobank Digital Series is a virtual programme organised by the bank to educate and enlighten the public on crucial issues of public interest, especially as it relates to their financial empowerment.