Software Group Launches Accelerated Agent Banking
By Zeenat Sambo
Software Group (SoftwareGroup.com), a global financial technology provider, has announced the launch of its Fast-track Agency Banking software for Nigerian banks looking to expand their reach and speed at a competitive cost.
Fast-track Agency Banking is an out-of-the-box solution with standard functionality for key transactions, fully managed on the cloud. It is powered by Software Group’s DigiWave banking platform for holistic digital transformation.
The new managed software service comes as branch banking is experiencing exponential growth across Nigeria. Major banks, such as Access Bank and FirstBank, have recently added millions of customers through agents and more than doubled branch transaction volumes.
This recent increase in agency transactions and agents has pushed the proportion of Nigerian adults with a financial account to 45-50% by the end of 2020, with agency banking transactions increasing from 3% of the country’s transactions to 19%. in a single year.
However, this growth has not yet been sufficient to meet the National Financial Inclusion Strategy target of 70% financial inclusion by 2020.
“Much remains to be done to provide financial services to Nigeria’s 38 million adults who are still unbanked,” said Connor Hanan, CEO of Software Group Africa and Middle East.
According to DataPhyte, more than 2 trillion naira per month of transactions remain unbanked, with 2.72 trillion naira unbanked in November 2021 alone. Enhancing Financial innovation & Access (EFInA) reports that access to banks remains one of the three biggest barriers to using traditional Nigerian banks for these funds.
“With millions of adults still in need of financial services and access reported as one of the biggest barriers, our software development was driven by the need to accelerate the creation of branch networks,” said added Connor.
“With the new managed service, banks can build and deploy agency banking in just over a month and at a fixed price that reflects their budget, saving operational costs and development.
Software Group has become a leader in agency banking, having successfully implemented agency banking software in over 20 countries.
Using its vast experience, the company took key components of its robust agency banking solution and put them on a cloud platform for the Nigerian launch.
As a result, Nigerian banks can quickly integrate the platform service directly into their core banking software, in just a few weeks, purchasing as many features as they want and upgrading whenever they need. .
“Simply put, Nigeria having made significant inroads into agency banking in the last 30 months alone, we are launching a new managed agency software where we have gone all out to provide an industry-ready platform. It covers all key operations such as customer acquisition, deposits, withdrawals, cash management, mini-statements and balance enquiries, creates dashboards and reports, so the market penetration can be achieved faster and more cost-effectively,” Connor said.
“We sincerely believe that this entirely new approach can now fuel agency growth and an acceleration to meet the nation’s inclusion goals,” he said.
Recent research has found that every 1% increase in the level of financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa leads to a 0.13% increase in well-being. The drive to realize these gains comes as EFInA reports that 86 million Nigerians have suffered loss of livelihoods due to the pandemic, which has seen many of those made redundant now turn to entrepreneurship.