Developing economies of Africa have taken financial inclusion very seriously because of its many benefits. The more people access financial services, the better it is for the economy and society. Improving financial inclusion can allow more people to participate in economic activities and contribute to economic growth.
The World Bank defines financial inclusion as giving individuals and businesses the means to access valuable and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs. These products and services include transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance.
Despite efforts to drive financial inclusion, Africa still has a sizeable unbanked population. Nigeria alone has 64 million people. So there’s still a lot of work to be done in enabling people and businesses in Africa to access financial products and services.
Since the mid-2000s, agency banking has emerged as a strategy to close the financial gaps in less-developed countries of Africa. With the use of agents, people, especially in rural areas with a low presence of financial institutions, have been able to access financial services. The most common tool agency banking agents use in Nigeria is the point-of-sale (POS) machines.
What is agency banking?
Agency banking is a type of branchless banking that allows financial institutions to deliver their products and services to the last mile using human agent networks or merchants. With these agents, financial institutions provide their products and services to typically unbanked customers. These services include loans, payments, deposits, insurance etc.
The Agency banking model has several benefits; it reduces the cost of traditional banking; banks and financial institutions do not need to set up branches before delivering their products and services. Agency banking also helps these institutions to increase their customer base and build trust and awareness with their customers with doorstep services.
Agency Banking as a Service provider
In Africa, banks and fintechs use the agency banking model to deliver their products and services. Fincra is one of those fintechs providing digital, financial and banking services to underbanked customers and businesses using an offline distribution network of agents.
Fincra’s Agency Banking as a Service is for microfinance banks, commercial banks and super agents to provide banking services at a more affordable fee. With Fincra, these groups can launch their services to remote areas focusing on the unbanked populace and people at the bottom of the financial pyramid.
Fincra Agency Banking as a Service models
With Fincra, banks, merchants and super agents can jumpstart their branchless strategy and help speed up financial inclusion with three models.
The Shared Model: With this model, Fincra runs the infrastructure and provides customers with bill payments, transfers, cash-out and airtime.
The White label model: The customers run this model by integrating their existing banking system and infrastructure into our platform. Fincra manages and hosts the bank’s infrastructure with this model.
API model: For this model, Fincra will provide agency banking infrastructure via APIs.
We have a 6-in-1 Agency Banking Solution that allows customers to focus on business growth and transaction volumes while Fincra takes care of the technology rails. Fincra has a seamless onboarding process that helps businesses get to the market quicker with no integration and infrastructure cost.
With Fincra’s Agency Banking as a Service, businesses can get increased revenue and return on investments, easily manage agent networks etc. Businesses can leverage our networks live in 23 states across Nigeria and be assured of high availability, secured and high transaction volume support of our Agency Banking as a Service.
Ready to get your Agency Banking running as soon as possible? Talk to us.