BY OLU OJO PHILLIPS
As Nigerian banks commenced operations towards restructuring ways to reduce risk and protect value as the impact of COVID-19 bites, three tier A lenders have ordered the delivery of 100, 000 Point of Sale terminal (PoS) to boost their agency banking businesses.
Even before the pandemic, retail banking was experiencing dramatic shifts in the way customers banked. Branch usage was declining steadily, and customers were increasingly using bank agent channels to manage their money. COVID-19 has accelerated this preference.
This reinforces the imperative for the banks to reimagine their channels boldly, anchored in an integrated vision for distribution.
Before the COVID-19 health crisis, First Bank with 45,000 agents has emerged as top performer and already breaking away from the pack with distribution strategies that responded to and accelerated changing customer expectations.
Apparently in response to the market trends, Zenith Bank has ordered 50,000 PoS terminals to drive its agency banking channel.
First Bank is consolidating its market share with another 40,000 terminals while Access Bank has requested the supply of 10,000 terminals, multiple sources revealed.
Other banks are learning from First Bank’s early foray into agency banking with FirstMonie.
First Bank has achieved significant growth in retail activity. The bank accomplished this by riding the meteoric rise in agency banking over the past three years that made agents the go-to channel for many customers.