Agent banking key to local financial inclusion
from ANTONY LANGAT in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI – THE local banking sector has witnessed increased financial inclusion following the introduction of agent banking that has ensured more people have increased contact with banking facilities.
This is according to a Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) report suggesting that since the roll out of the agent banking model in May 2010, commercial banks have continued to contract varied retail entities to offer basic banking services.
“These entities, such as security companies, courier services, pharmacies, supermarkets and post offices act as third party agents to provide cash- in -cash-out transactions and other services in compliance with the laid down guidelines,” said the CBK report.
The report says that as at the end of June this year, there were 15 commercial banks that had contracted 26 750 active agents facilitating more than 106 million transactions valued at KSh 571,5 billion.
This was an increase from 14 commercial banks in March 2014 with 24 645 agents facilitating about 92,6 million transactions valued at Sh 499 billion.
The number of banking transactions undertaken through agents increased from 11,8 million registered in the quarter ending March 2014 to 13,5 million transactions registered in the quarter ending June 2014.
Similarly, the value of banking transactions undertaken through agents increased from Sh 67 billion to Sh 72,5 billion over the same period.
The adoption of agency banking model is expected to facilitate commercial banks to reach the under-banked and unbanked Kenyan public.
– CAJ News
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