Diamond Bank (Nigeria), in partnership with Women’s World Banking, developed the agency banking model “Closa” to allow customers to deposit, withdraw and do other transactions in shops in their communities. The bank recognizes that branch growth alone will not enable it to grow its customer base and serve the many unbanked and under-banked Nigerians. Compared to traditional “bricks and mortar” branches, agents are a lower cost channel that makes it possible for the bank to expand its footprint and serve lower-income customers sustainably.
The benefits to customers are significant. In research, low-income women value the convenience, as it is faster and easier for them to go to a shop nearby than to go to deposit at the bank. They say it offers all the security of a bank without the hassle of going to the branch.
Agents are selected from micro and small enterprise clients of Diamond Bank, and appreciate the prestige of being associated with the bank, having the opportunity to serve their community, and to earn an additional revenue stream from commissions on banking transactions.
Representatives from Women’s World Banking went to Lagos to join senior leaders from Diamond Bank, Kayode Olubiyi, Head of Financial Inclusion and Uzoma Dozie, CEO to launch this latest initiative for serving Nigeria’s un- and underbanked population.
This project benefits from the Agence Française de Développement support. The analysis, views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Agence Française de Développement.