Ecobank has launched what it calls “Agency Banking” which is aimed at stepping up the game and raising the bar even higher than ever in Liberia, the bank has announced.
In a brief remarks at the official launch of the program, Ecobank Managing Director George Mensah–Asante said over the years customers had to visit various Ecobank branches across the country to transact on their Xpress accounts or generate an Etoken via the mobile App to withdraw funds from their ATM. Now, with the introduction of the Agency Banking System in the country, it brings banking even closer to everyone’s doorstep.
“This service expands Ecobank’s network and will enable our customers to deposit or withdraw from our accredited agents within your communities,” he said.
According to him, Agency Banking comes at an appropriate time in Ecobank’s digital journey. He further said that the key component that completes the digital Financial Services Environment that Ecobank is creating is to contribute to the Government of Liberia’s Pro-Poor Agenda.
He emphasized that the introduction of the Agency Banking in the country will create more job opportunities for young Liberians and will also enhance the existing businesses of potential partners.
“The rising mobile adoption gives us a glimpse of new possibilities to better serve customers across the country,” Mensah-Asante noted. “The digital system, which is being introduced for the first time in Liberia by Ecobank, is going to help ordinary Liberians.”
Meanwhile the Deputy Governor for Economic Policy at the Central Bank of Liberia, Dr. Mounir Siaplay, said Agency Banking will expand commercial banks’ revenue base and expressed appreciation to Ecobank for bringing the system of banking closer to the ordinary people.
He, however, said the CBL remains supportive to every initiative that will help Liberians get easy access to the banking system in the country.
“It may be recalled that in 2017, the Central Bank of Kenya reported that the number of agents in their financial sector increased by 34% from the previous year, and the value of banking transactions carried out through agents increased by 56.5% from 1,562.7 billion shillings in 2016 to 2,446.1 billion shillings in 2017,” he said.
The Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Samora P. Z. Wolokolie, described the move by Ecobank as a clear sign that the management is cognizant of the Liberian government’s pro-poor agenda.
Minister Wolokolie said for Ecobank to bring such a system closer to the people is also in line with the government’s financial inclusion policy to give the opportunity for the underbanked who work in the informal economy with less access to financial services.
He pledged the government’s support to ensure that the full intent of the Agent Banking platform is achieved.