3Line employs 20,000 Freedom Fighters
The army of unemployed youths in Nigeria has been given a lifeline as 3Line Card Management, Nigeria’s premier electronic payments processor for low value transactions has commenced the recruitment of over 20,000 unemployed Nigerians to drive the marketing and promotion of its Freedom Network across the country. The army of youth would be known as “Freedom Fighters”.
Freedom Network is a community of banks, service providers, government agencies and merchants that offer instant financial services such as cash withdrawal, money transfer, airtime top ups, ticketing, pay-as-you-go vehicle insurance and utility bill payment at authorized retail shops and service points within neighborhoods.
Listing the objectives of the network, General Manager, 3Line Card Management, Mrs. Funke Ade-Ojo said these include the provision of a single, common platform to provide street banking services to stakeholders, provide financial inclusion for the informal sector, bridge the gap between users and providers of financial and non-financial services in Nigeria. Customer s on the Freedom Network could perform light banking services such as cash withdrawal, bill payment, fund transfer and others.
In addition, the company uses cost-effective technology to provide affordable financial services within communities. On the rationale for adopting the policy of recruiting Freedom Fighters, particularly the unemployed and integrating them into its promotion strategy, she explained that marketing costs represent one of the biggest financial challenges impeding financial inclusion business.
She said employing the Freedom Fighters is not only to market the company’s products and services but to provide employment opportunities to unemployed. “The Freedom Fighters are expected to fight against all forms of financial exclusions in the society. They are the army of the quest by Nigerians to be integrated into the formal financial systems will all its benefits,” she said.
The Freedom Fighters are typically young, agile and low-income earners who live in various local communities in different states of the country including Lagos, Enugu, Jos, Abuja and Port Harcout. The Freedom Fighters would comb these neighbourhoods with the view to recruiting customers for Freedom Network.
Part of their job descriptions are to educate potential customers, particularly those in the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) about Freedom Network, open account for new entrants, increase traffic on the network and from there earn a commission on each new customer. Freedom Network is a customer friendly and cost effective way of providing secure, light financial services to groups of people in a community using existing merchants within the same community who are known and trusted.
To achieve this, the company has collaborated with some banks such as FinBank and First Bank and others, while other payment providers have signed on to build an end-to-end integrated infrastructure through a common platform.
“Our card, Freedom cards are already accepted on the InterSwitch network for ATM usage, cash withdrawal nationwide. We have commenced trials with the National Central Switch, and have collaborated with several technology and marketing service providers. This is a Herculean task, and we recognise it requires co-operation”, she added.
Already the network has experienced growth in the number of banks that have embraced the platform. As the Freedom Fighters launch out by moving from door t odor in their respected neighourhoods, more Nigerians would be attracted in to the Freedom Network.