Target 10 million BVN enrollment by 2020…
Nigeria commercial lenders, licensed mobile money operators, and agents have agreed to partner and fund the expansion of a shared agent network to deepen financial inclusion in Nigeria.
The lenders are working with the monetary authority, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on this new push.
The body of bank CEOs, including those of Access Bank, GTB, Zenith, FirstBank, Standard Chartered, Union Bank and Diamond Bank among others, which disclosed this Tuesday in Lagos, explained that the banks are coming together with mobile money operators and the CBN to galvanise growth in the economy through improved and expanded financial services and that profit consideration is not top on the agenda but overall growth of the economy, which would, in the long run, promote earnings in the industry.
The shared agent network plan would entail an aggressive rollout of about 500,000 agents across the country by December 2019 to offer basic financial services, such as cash-in, cash-out, funds transfer, bill payments, and airtime purchases as well as remote enrollment on BVN to an estimated 50 million Nigerians that are currently underbanked or unbanked.
Specifically, agents would be incentivized with N100 per BVN enrollment to meet the target of 10 million enrollment for 2018, 2019 and 2020.
“This agreement reflects our commitment to aggressively pursue the CBN 2020 financial inclusion target in an integrated way with minimal systemic risk to the financial system. This initiative will also generate over 500,000 new jobs over the next two years,” said Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Bank and chairman of the Body of Bank CEOs.
They indicated that 10 licensed mobile money operators are on the ground to immediately deploy financial services agents’ outlets in underserved urban and rural communities in Nigeria, adding that the deployment of the agents’ outlets would give higher priority to the Northern geopolitical zones where financial exclusion is most prominent.
“The approved CBN-Bankers Committee’s rollout ratio is as follows: North-East 30 percent; North-West 30 percent; North-Central 20 percent; South-South 7.5 percent; South-East 7.5 percent; and South-West 5 percent,” they explained further in a statement.
Some of the prequalified CBN licensed operators for the project include Capricorn Digital Limited, Cellulant Nigeria Limited, e-Tranzact Limited, Innovectives Limited and Inlaks Limited.
Others are Interswitch Financial Inclusion Services Limited, Paga Tech Limited, and Unified Payments Nigeria Plc.
According to the plan, the CBN and the banks would over the next few months also roll out new initiatives, products and services to accelerate the financial inclusion process, and onboard and formally bank 60 million additional Nigerians in the next three years at an average of 20 million yearly.
The plan would also seek to enroll 40 million Nigerians for BVN with a renewed focus on driving low-cost digital access, broadening financial literacy campaigns, and creating microloans, microinsurance, and micro investment products for the benefits of excluded, underserved and low-income Nigerians.
Tayo Oviosu, founder and CEO of Paga on behalf of the mobile money operators said: “To significantly grow financial inclusion in Nigeria, we need to offer truly effective digital financial services that operate on all mobile telecom networks and a robust nationwide network of agents for convenient access.
“The shared Agent Network Expansion programme, the entire financial industry will reach deeper into even more communities and give millions of Nigerians convenient access to financial services.”
McKinsey has been appointed to support the technical team of the programme with reports and framework for implementation.