Emeka sells fabric at the popular Balogun market in Lagos Island. He came to Lagos over 10 years ago in search of opportunities for a better life. He supports his widowed mother and siblings in Eziukwu-Aba, Abia state by sending them monthly stipends.
The banks in his home state mostly have their branches and ATMs in the towns, the closest of which is about a day’s journey to and fro. Emeka’s aging mother back home no longer has to make this journey every time he sends money, she relies on the services of mobile money agent(s) in their village to carry out their basic financial transactions they would have done at the bank(s) in town. Each time Emeka sends money home, his sister walks to the mobile agent shop two houses away and uses the PoS machine to make the withdrawal.
This and many more examples make up the N 2.83 trillion worth of transactions done in the first 11 months of 2019 on PoS machines across the country. The CBN as part of it’s goal to increase financial inclusion, is also licensing more superagents; these are businesses or individuals licensed by the CBN and contracted by the financial service provider, who may subcontract other agents in a network while retaining overall responsibility for the agency relationship. In partnership with SANEF (Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility), a project powered by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Deposit Money Banks and other institutions. The goal is to have 500,000 mobile agents across the country helping more people have access to financial services such as account opening, deposits and withdrawals, bill payments, access to credit and much more with the aim of improving financial inclusion.
The Business Model
Mobile agents make use of PoS devices for their services, these devices are provided by banks and other super agents, there is also a link between the PoS and specific bank accounts where the funds are settled.
As Emeka’s sister had gone to the agent to make a withdrawal and got funds immediately, the transaction made from her card will only get to the agent’s bank account 1 business day after, or 3 days after if done on a weekend, in order to serve more people while waiting for the funds to settle, they need to be provided with more PoS devices and most importantly, increased access to funds.
In partnership with Super Agents and Banks, FINT through its lenders is filling this gap in form of short term credit. Super Agents can deploy more capital to the agents who in turn carry out more transactions, serve more customers and help meet the Sustainable Development Goal for 2030 through financial inclusion.
Every thousand naira invested by a Lender on FINT means that someone somewhere can have access to a financial service when they need it no matter where they are. Imagine a case where an individual needs urgent medical attention but does not have access to a bank or ATM to make withdrawals to make payments, mobile agents have been the solution in many of these cases, saving lives, improving lives and earning a living for themselves. The investor also earns monthly returns of 1.25% on their funds.
What are risks in this investment?
As with every type of investment, there’s a level of risk, in this case it is the possibility of default from the mobile money agent. In simple terms, what happens if the mobile agent does not pay back the money lent to him?
Because the funds received from transactions on the PoS are settled in the bank, the partnership with banks ensures that all outstanding paybacks are remitted before money is made available to the agent.
For example, if an agent has done transaction volume of N300,000 but was provided with N100,000 via FINT’s lenders to pay back N101,250, before the bank makes the balance available to the mobile agent, N101,250 is deducted and remitted to FINT. This eliminates the likelihood of a default.
FINT has partnered with reputable companies such as Crowdforce to provide lenders with one of several alternative investment options that have remained inaccessible before now, creating even more wealth opportunities for everyone.
Crowdforce is building Africa’s largest distribution network, the network can be leveraged to deploy financial services and products as well as collections. The PayForce Agent Network helps banks and Fintech startups with the right network to scale, capturing digital identities and rendering other digital services via local merchant stores.
Visit www.lend.fint.ng to get access to available investment products the provide opportunity to make impact.