How Moniepoint wants to win the retail banking market

6 mins read

Moniepoint, one of Nigeria’s biggest business banks, wants to replicate its success in agency banking in retail banking by leveraging its distribution strategy.

On August 17, 2023, TechCabal exclusively reported that Moniepoint, the Nigerian fintech, has expanded into retail banking. The 8-year-old startup, which provides banking services to small and medium-sized businesses across Nigeria, is hoping to reach new customers by expanding its services into the personal banking segment. 

At a recent media parley in Lagos, the acting managing director, Moniepoint Microfinance Bank (MFB), Babatunde Olofin disclosed that the holding company, Moniepoint Inc. now processes payment transactions worth $12 billion with an average of 400 million transactions monthly. It is an interesting number when you consider that Moniepoint said it processed 1.7 billion transactions worth over $100 billion in 2022. According to Olofin, Moniepoint, formerly called TeamApt, has an “elastic infrastructure” that allows it to process huge volumes of transactions.

Moniepoint’s latest bet on retail banking means it will compete in a field crowded by large banks and well-funded fintechs including upstarts Opay and Palmpay and the likes of Kuda, Fairmoney and Carbon who have built a significant presence in the personal banking space. OPay, for instance, claims to have 35 million registered users, while Palmpay says it has over 25 million users. Moniepoint is positioning itself ahead of further boom in electronic transactions. Industry data shows  Nigerian digital payments is having its best year with an average monthly volume topping 818 million for the first five months of 2023. TechCabal Insights projects real-time payments could reach 9.7 billion transactions by the end of the year, almost double the figure from 2022.

For Moniepoint, distribution is everything

Moniepoint wants to replicate its success in agency banking in the consumer banking vertical. It is betting that its distribution strategy, with a network of offline agents, will attract customers into its fold. “In every corner of the nation, we have our representatives known as agents,” Olofin said. “Even in areas where we don’t have a physical bank presence, we are there. We call our agents ‘man bank’ because you can actually do everything you can do in a banking hall with our agents.” 

With over 1.6 million onboarded businesses and over 10,000 agents across the country, the fintech hopes to leverage its solid agent network to target retail customers. Moniepoint projects it will onboard at least 4.8 million retail customers over the next three months. It is basically betting that it can pull three new retail banking users from each of its business customers.,

To onboard people without smartphones, Moniepoint’s agents will help them open a personal account, and issue them cards that can be used to carry out transactions, Olofin shared. “With our spread of agent network, it is easy for them [customers] to approach the agents and carry out transactions without necessarily looking for a physical structure,” he said.

Gamification for financial inclusion

Moniepoint’s personal banking service represents an interesting foray for the Engineering-first company.  To stand out in the competitive market, the company is relying on gamification. Thousands of users could win N2,000 weekly and a grand prize of N10 million when they complete certain tasks and milestones, said Ope Adeyemi, the company’s senior vice president of channels and sales tools.

“Consumers are rewarded with coins on our personal banking app after they carry out transactions, and these coins allow them to take part in exciting weekly games such as Shuffle, Spin the Wheel, he said.” Moniepoint is betting that gamification will not only enhance user experience but also encourage customers to use the app and its accompanying debit card for transactions over cash.

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