Fidelity Bank Plc has collaborated with the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) to launch 266 agency banking centres across Nigeria. This is in a move to extend financial services to rural communities and the low-income segment of the society, whilst boosting financial inclusion.
The Partnership: Speaking at the project’s launch in Abuja, the Post-Master General of NIPOST, Bisi Adegbuyi, said with this, Fidelity Bank will have its Point of Sale (POS) used in NIPOST facilities nationwide.
“The project has the potential to increase the revenue base of both organisations and enhance the savings culture of the rural dwellers as well as help in mopping excess cash from rural communities, help to drive government’s financial inclusion policy, and facilitates funds transfer between citizens for mutual benefits.”
Why this? According to Adegbuyi, Nigeria has a large rural population of about 63.9 percent, even as over 20 million adults of the total adult population get their main source of income from subsistence or commercial farming. He added that;
“It is also estimated that only 60.5 per cent of adult population has access to financial service, the main reason for this, it is not cost effective for banks to go to rural areas, for that reason, 40 per cent of bank branches are based in the Lagos axis, while over 47 per cent of Nigerian farmers do not have access to financial services because they are mostly based in rural area, out of over 1,800 post offices, about 70 per cent are in rural areas.”
It is, therefore, high time for Nigerians to get fully integrated in the financial inclusion strategy of the Government. Citing data provided by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS), Ahmad said ATM transactions rose by over 196 per cent (295 million in 2013) compared to, 875 million in 2018.
Point of Sale transactions rose by 3,076 percent (from nine million in 2013 to 285.89 million in 2018). Electronic transfers through web rose by 2,440 percent (from two million in 2013 to 50.8 million in 2018).
Contrastingly, she added that paper-based payments transactions using cheques declined by over 35 percent between 2013 and 2018 (14 million transactions conducted using cheques in 2013 relative to nine million transactions in 2018).