Business News of 2014-03-07

Agency banking gets to Agbogbloshie

The Agbogbloshie Market, a foodstuff and open grocery market in Accra, has become the next destination for Fidelity Bank’s Agency banking service.

The Financial Inclusion team of the bank visited the market to interact with traders and residents as it introduced its innovative service known as Agency Banking and its Smart Account to them.

This was after a sensitisation float from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle through some principal streets of Accra which finally terminated at the Agbogbloshie Market, where presentations and illustrations on Agency Banking took centre stage.

Fidelity Smart Agents also made stops at vantage points to explain the Smart Account to them and opened accounts for lots of people. The account is designed to provide a full bank account in less than five minutes; it offers clients the opportunity to have both a Current and a Savings Account.

The Head of Smart Account Sales at Fidelity Bank, Mr Agyemang Duah Agyekum, in an address said the Smart Account had a simple process tailor-made for the busy people who could not afford to leave their businesses during working hours.

“In order to use any of the Fidelity Smart Agents, one needs to open a Fidelity Smart Account. Locate any Fidelity smart Agent or Smart Friend in your area. Give the Fidelity Smart Agent a valid national ID card, fill a form and GH¢5 will be your opening balance,” Mr Agyekum explained.

The account entitles holders to a Smart Account number, an automated teller machine (ATM) Card and Personal Identification Number in just five minutes.

Explaining the concept, the Head of Agency Banking at Fidelity Bank, Mr Hudson Emmanuel Opoku-Mensah, noted that in spite of the high number of banks in the country, majority of Ghanaians were still unbanked.

Worried about the phenomenon, Fidelity Bank took it upon itself to research into the situation and realised that proximity and complexity of opening bank accounts were contributory factors to the high unbanked population in Ghana.

The bank plans to open about 2,000 agency outlets across the country to be located in neighbourhood convenience shops, pharmacies, supermarkets and utility payment vendors.

Services available to Smart Account holders include Cash deposit, Cash withdrawal, Mobile Top up, Funds transfer, Bill payment, Card-less transactions and Transfer of money to e-wallet.

Source: graphic.com
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