Fidelity Bank, the largest privately-owned Ghanaian Bank, says its financial inclusion agenda nationwide has become a game changer, bringing banking to the doorsteps of the unbanked and underbanked.
The Bank said it had played an enviable role in overcoming two of the greatest barriers to financial inclusion being physical access and mindset change.
In a statement issued by the Bank, it said: “Through Agency networks, Ghanaians could access banking services at community pharmacies, supermarkets, mobile money vendors or newspaper stands.”
“In 2022 alone, Fidelity’s Agency Banking service facilitated over 1.7 million transactions which is equivalent to 25% of all transactions across Fidelity’s Branch network over the period,” the Bank said.
The introduction of the Agency Banking model proved to be a major game-changer for the Bank’s financial inclusion agenda, making it the first to be licensed by the Bank of Ghana to undertake the Agency Banking model in Ghana back in 2013.
During the initial three-month pilot in 2013, 130,000 accounts were opened with about 100 Fidelity Bank agents.
Since then, the agency banking model continued to grow exponentially, with over 5,000 agents dotted around the country today.
The progress made had also been attributed to the introduction of the Inclusive Banking department, the first of its kind in the Ghanaian banking industry.
It developed specialised products such as the flagship Smart Account, which proved to be a major addition to the Bank’s product portfolio.
The Smart Account is a minimum-effort “Know Your Customer” (KYC) requirement account that could be opened within five minutes, making Fidelity the first Bank officially licensed by the Bank of Ghana to offer KYC-lite accounts
The Statement said: “The Bank had also partnered with Mobile Network Operators as well as FinTechs to roll-out other specialised products and services for the target audience.”
The statement said Fidelity Bank had forged a strategic partnership with Ghana Post, connecting Ghanaians across the country to scale up its widespread reach, especially within the regions.
It said its new Agent Plus points provided an expanded scope of services to enable customers to carry out critical banking services from the comfort of their community Post Offices.
Currently, there are 19 Agent Plus outlets with many others expected to be progressively onboarded at Post Office locations throughout Ghana.
There are some at Agogo, Tepa and Offinso in the Ashanti region; Kenyasi and Wenchi in the Bono and Ahafo regions; Agona Swedru, Dunkwa and Winneba in the Central region.
Some could also be found at Enyinasi, Asankragwa and Sefwi Bekwai in the Western North region; Asamankese, Mpraeso, Begoro and Kibi in the Eastern Region; Kajebi in the Oti region; Aflao and Kpando in the Volta region.
In Accra, Agent Plus points could be found in Cantonments and Accra New Town.