EcoBank Liberia and Total Liberia have signed a partnership agreement that is geared toward the offering of agency banking that will serve customers at all filling stations across the country.
Agency banking is where a commercial bank appoints a third party (agent) to transact business on its behalf.
Performing the launching ceremony over the weekend, Total-Liberia Managing Director Peter Adegunle said the service at the entity’s Center Street branch in Monrovia will begin with 100 stations across the country.
“For now, we are starting with only five Total filling stations in Monrovia that include the one on Center Street, Caldwell, VOA, Bye-Pass and Sinkor, 6th Street,” Mr. Adegunle says.
According to him, transfers to Ecobank and other banks, bill payments, and airtime top-up would be carried out with ease at the selected locations.
Adegunle expresses happiness to partner with Ecobank because it is the biggest in the Liberian economy.
He describes the partnership with Ecobank as an illustration of one of Total’s strategies that would strengthen the cashless initiative in the country.
For his part, Ecobank-Liberia Managing Director George Mensah-Asante describes the deployment of Ecobank Xpress Points via Total-Liberia locations as an extension of the bank’s distribution and financial inclusion strategy to take banking services to the doorsteps of every citizen.
According to Mr. Mensah-Asante, the outlets would offer convenient and accessible financial services in a cost-effective and secure manner.
“As you are no doubt aware, Ecobank introduced Agency Banking in Liberia on May 10, 2018, to bring banking services closer to the doorsteps of our customers, enabling them to deposit and withdraw cash from accredited agents within their local communities,” Mr. Mensah-Asante says.
He explains that Friday’s event marks yet another milestone for Ecobank, since they embarked on the second phase of their digital journey with the launch of the Ecobank Mobile App in January, 2017.
He says the bank’s Mobile App offers customers numerous services that provide banking at their fingertips in a convenient and easily accessible manner.
“Today any individual with a registered Lonestar or Orange mobile number can open an Ecobank Xpress Account via their mobile phone without any paperwork. Ecobank-Liberia currently has over 120,000 mobile app downloads, and has opened over 110,000 Xpress accounts,” Mr. Mensah-Asante discloses.
Also on the app is the EcobankPay which is a Scan and Pay feature via a Quick Response (QR) Code in partnership with MasterCard and VISA, he continues. He notes that payment via EcobankPay is aimed at assisting merchants to increase their sales by providing an alternative form of payment other than cash, mobile money and cards.
Mr. Mensah-Asante indicates that the bank’s Mobile App provides customers with the convenience of cardless withdrawals from its Liberian dollar Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) through the generation of Etokens that can also be shared with families and friends via email, text messages and whatsapp, among others.
As a Pan African Banking Group, the bank has a key objective of attracting 100 million customers on the Mobile App by 2020, says Mr. Mensah-Asante.
When achieved, this alone has the ability of empowering the large unbanked and underserved people of Africa, providing great gains with respect to financial freedom and financial literacy and also deepen financial inclusion and reduce the cost to serve.
This launch will see Total-Liberia distribute selected products and services of Ecobank throughout its numerous footprints across the country including cash deposits and withdrawals on Xpress accounts, current accounts and savings accounts, redeeming e-tokens (for cash) Cash Xpress Prepaid Card Issuance, among others.By Lewis S. Teh–Edited by Winston W. Parley