By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma News Agency of Nigeria
The unprecedented impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has continued to force everyone to expand their possibilities and adopt new ways of performing their duties.
It has caused individuals, groups, organizations and societies to reexamine the way they do things.
Indeed, this has created the need for financial institutions and strategists to continue to question whether their operational resilience keeps pace with the rapid pace of digital developments.
A survey by McKinsey Ficial Insight Pulse in October 2020 found that most consumers expect to increase their use of digital and mobile banking services even after the COVID-19 crisis, with 53% of consumers wanting their banks to pay them. make the job easier. get a line of credit, and 36% want improved banking websites to make online transactions easier.
The survey showed that Nigeria saw an increase in agent banking transactions during the crisis, opening up new possibilities to provide services to more people at lower cost.
He also revealed that changes can be reversed unless steps are taken to anchor new behaviors and attitudes.
Analysts note that the demographic age groups of the Nigerian population are fueling the pandemic’s demand for further digitization of banking processes.
According to a recent United Nations population projection for 2020, Nigeria’s largest population is under 30.
He said 62% of Nigerians were under 25, representing a large market of innovative young people who lived at a rapid pace and were constantly on the lookout for institutions that would meet the demands of their 21st century lifestyle. .
Some banks have started to capitalize on these huge opportunities.
First Bank of Nigeria Ltd., a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc., Has also done a lot in this regard, building on its 127 year history.
The bank has bridged the tax exclusion gap with the introduction of digital channels to make it easy for customers to conduct banking transactions.
With over 750 commercial locations and over 130,620 bank agents spread across 99% of Nigeria’s 774 local government areas, FirstBank provides financial services to individuals and businesses to serve its more than 30 million customers.
With an international presence through its subsidiaries – FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as an office of representation in Beijing – analysts believe that the bank has had a significant impact.
According to its managing director, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, the bank has been successful in promoting digital payment in Nigeria and has issued more than 10 million cards.
Adeduntan claims that FirstBank has over 10 million people on its USSD Quick Banking service via bank code * 894 # and over 4.5 million people on the FirstMobile platform.
He says the bank’s development and introduction of FirstMobile was aimed at giving its customers a head start by enabling them to take advantage of digital banking services.
Adeduntan notes that due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, FirstBank has launched a FastTrack ATM designed to improve more formal operations without the need to physically interact with the machine.
The CEO is committed to ensuring that the bank’s digital channels remain committed to providing transparent financial solutions.
“We are committed to providing transparent financial solutions to ensure that our clients are able to transact in a timely manner in a safe, secure and efficient manner, thus putting them ahead in digital banking, not only in Nigeria but in Africa.
According to him, FirstBank launched an annual FinTech summit four years ago to lead conversations and practices that have impacted fintech and the electronic banking ecosystem.
He is convinced that the electronic banking ecosystem has been essential in filling the gaps of modern banking in today’s global village.
Adeduntan says that the 2021 summit, the fifth in its series, scheduled for October 7, is themed: “Open Banking and its derivative opportunities for the financial ecosystem.”
“Participants at our summits were educated on how to best conduct their digital transactions and business activities in a secure and transparent manner.
“Financial services have continuously evolved in Nigeria and around the world, and we intend, as in previous years, to use our FinTech summit this year to discuss different perspectives on open banking and its opportunities. partners in order to build on past successes, ” he explains.
Mr. Moses Igbrude, Chair of Alternative Issuer and Investor Dispute Resolution, welcomes banks’ digitization initiatives to ensure efficient service delivery.
“The services during the lockdowns were efficient and effective.
He urges banks to keep up the pace, adding that they should encourage their customer service units to do more by motivating them through training and other incentives.
The COO of InvestData Ltd., Mr. Ambrose Omordion, describes the initiatives as useful, saying they will improve services in banks and the financial sector in general.
Omordion calls on banks to invest more in technology and infrastructure that it says drives public services.
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