Evaluating the Agent Banking Policy on Financial Inclusion among Rural Unbanked Populations: Evidence from Nigeria

Authors

  • Uno Ijim Agbor
  • Pius Otu Abang
  • Immaculata Ofu Obaji-Akpet
  • Otu Offiong Duke
  • Terrence Richard Eja

Keywords:

Agent banking, financial inclusion, rural unbanked, Point of Sale, Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use

Abstract

Background: Studies have examined agent banking practices in developing economies with substantial scholarly works revolving around the Asian economy. Some other works around the issue dwell substantially on the effect of agent banking on the development of the economy. Limited scholarly attention, however, seems to be given to how agent banking practices deepen the financial inclusion of the rural unbanked population of Cross River State, Nigeria.

Objective: The study examined the implementation of agent banking policy and financial inclusion of the rural unbanked population of Nigeria. 

Methodology: The study adopted the cross-sectional design and used 387 respondents purposefully and accidentally drawn from bank marketers, operators of Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals, and unbanked rural dwellers. Data were collected using a questionnaire and analysed with chi-square and multiple regression analysis, while hypotheses were tested at a 0.05 significance level.

Results: The study found that using POS terminals in rural areas has not significantly increased the number of rural dwellers opening new bank accounts. It was further found that the application of POS was useful in money transfers and cash deposits in rural areas. Perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use significantly influenced the application of POS devices in the delivery of agent banking in rural areas.

Conclusion: The study concludes that agent banking policy has brought financial services scantily close to the rural unbanked population and has not significantly included the rural unbanked dwellers in the formal financial system.

Unique contribution: This study has provided empirical evidence that could guide decision-making on effectively integrating the rural population into the formal financial sector.

Recommendation: The study recommends, amongst others, that banks should carry out agent morphing to extend complete banking services to rural areas other than saving and withdrawals, the only banking functions carried out by POS agents in rural areas.

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Published

2023-12-28

How to Cite

Agbor , U. I., Abang , P. O., Obaji-Akpet , I. O., Duke , O. O., & Eja , T. R. (2023). Evaluating the Agent Banking Policy on Financial Inclusion among Rural Unbanked Populations: Evidence from Nigeria. Ianna Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies , 5(1), 238–251. Retrieved from https://iannajournalofinterdisciplinarystudies.com/index.php/1/article/view/152