Firstbank has announced that its firstmonie agents, has been able to impact into hundreds of thousands of lives and communities across Nigeria, as it has reached 100,000 users.
FirstBank’s unmatched commitment to financial inclusion is informed by the bank’s undivided focus on making real impact across Nigeria.
Speaking on the unmatched achievements, the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said the “100,000 Agents feat in itself speak volumes about the bank’s strides in the financial inclusion space. No other bank comes anywhere close to FirstBank in terms of number and spread of agents in their agent banking networks.”
According to him, “The key strength of our franchise is our ability to look at gaps in the society and develop products and services that [address those gaps].”
Continuing, he noted that as an integral part of the bank’s strategy, “We believe that by significantly working with the Central Bank to improve the financial inclusion index of the country, we would, as FirstBank, be assisting [the] country to address poverty, to address hunger, thereby also promoting security of life and property because when people are gainfully employed, the implication is that they think less of crime.”
The bank disclosed that in 2020 through the Firstmonie agents, it recorded over 295 million transactions with a total value of N6.65 trillion and opened more than 196,000 accounts.
Also Speaking, the deputy CEO, Francis Shobo agreed saying FirstBank is looking beyond numbers and considering impact.
He made a bold declaration, “We are trying to make those Agents the centre of the financial ecosystem in the country.”
A Firstmonie Agent serving Aiyetoro community, Stephen Adeleye, who spoke at the event, recounted how Firstmonie has impacted his community.
Adeleye said Firstmonie has provided easy access to banking ensuring that “people in the community now have this kind of savings habit” – a reference to the growing savings culture in Aiyetoro.
One of his customers, Tina Farodoye, who operates a grocery store in the community said Firstmonie has helped her business to grow.
“She can now buy her stock in bulk all the way from Lagos where they are relatively inexpensive (even with transport costs added) compared to her community, all because she is able to transfer funds through Agent Stephen to the wholesalers in Lagos,” she said.
Another Firstmonie agent in Obehie, Asa Ukwa West, Abia State, Ephraim Osinachi, said she served customers across all ages, including the very aged, as all customers are assisted with their transactions, unlike the use of ATM where the customer is practically on their own.
He said market traders take advantage of his presence in the community to make lodgements at the end of the day’s trade.
According to her, “The advantage this offers the people is invaluable.”
He cited a case where a customer’s house was raided by robbers in their absence and all the robbers could find after ransacking the entire house was fifty naira cash and old phones valued at N3,000.
”His services are enabling his community to avoid keeping bulk cash at home and the consequent risk of being robbed and traumatised by men of the underworld,” she said.