Moniepoint’s offline strategy targets millions for financial empowerment

By Joseph Ekeng

Moniepoint, a prominent fintech firm in Nigeria, is embarking on a groundbreaking multimillion-dollar offline strategy aimed at harnessing the vast potential of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and propelling financial inclusion to new heights in the country.

With an astounding membership of almost 2 million, comprising taxi, bus, and truck drivers, the NURTW stands as one of Nigeria’s most influential and financially liquid trade unions. What’s particularly intriguing for Moniepoint is the unwavering commitment of these drivers to remit fees to the association, making them a prime target for financial services.

Moniepoint recently revealed impressive figures, boasting an average monthly transaction value of  $12 billion, serving approximately 1.6 million businesses across Nigeria. Looking ahead, the company has set an ambitious goal to reach a minimum of 4.8 million retail customers within the next three months, placing a significant emphasis on the offline market, which currently serves as the primary revenue generator.

Tosin Eniolorunda, the CEO of Moniepoint, sheds light on their approach, saying, “We meticulously examined the NURTW’s distribution model to identify insights we could adapt to our unique use case.” He underscores that Moniepoint’s offline strategy is firmly rooted in first-principle thinking, an approach that involves dissecting challenges by addressing their core elements, rather than following industry trends blindly.

One of the most pressing challenges in Nigeria’s financial landscape is the staggering number of unbanked and underbanked citizens. Despite concerted efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to bridge this gap, progress has been sluggish. The CBN’s initial target of reaching 80 percent of the population by 2020 was unmet, prompting a revised goal of achieving 95 percent financial inclusion by 2024.

Experts have often criticized financial institutions for over-relying on online strategies, neglecting the untapped potential of offline approaches. Osaretin Victor Asemota, a growth partner at AnD Ventures, points out, “OPay or Moniepoint didn’t start with a grand offline strategy; they pivoted based on market demands.”

Moniepoint’s offline strategy closely mirrors the NURTW’s tiered system, with thousands of relationship managers strategically positioned within every community across Nigeria. Rather than directly recruiting merchants, Moniepoint sought out individuals already well-established and trusted within their communities. These individuals were then incentivized to onboard merchants effectively.

Ezekiel Sanni, the senior vice president of offline distribution, explains, “This is how we revolutionized distribution.” Moniepoint also prides itself on offering a 24-hour resolution service for false debit card withdrawals, a testament to their commitment to customer satisfaction.

Moniepoint’s onboarding process is a meticulously integrated system, combining online and offline methods. After an initial online onboarding process, a merchant may require an offline payment device, usually a POS terminal. At this point, an offline sales personnel becomes essential to issue the device. Additionally, Moniepoint integrates with Monnify, an online payment gateway that empowers merchants to accept payments via their own apps or websites. For offline transactions, unique payment codes facilitate seamless transactions between customers and Moniepoint agents nationwide.

Eniolorunda highlights the significance of Moniepoint’s offline strategy, particularly in a low-trust environment like Nigeria. He states, “Our offline strategy caters to these nuances, and we are confident that as we continue to deepen confidence, trust, and reliability through our systems, we will see significant improvements.”

In August, Moniepoint reached a remarkable milestone, boasting over 640,000 mobile money agents. These agents are indirectly managed through a network of relationship managers who play a pivotal role in ensuring efficient operations. Weekly training programs and ongoing support mechanisms ensure that these managers remain well-informed and equipped to tackle challenges effectively.

Moniepoint’s innovative offline approach seamlessly integrates hard data with human insights, nurturing a treasure trove of market intelligence. This approach has paved the way for the introduction of groundbreaking features in the Nigerian fintech industry. As Nigeria’s financial landscape continues to evolve, Moniepoint remains steadfast in its mission to drive financial inclusion, pioneering the way forward with its offline strategy that sets a new standard for the industry.


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