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HOW FIRSTBANK FINTECH SUMMIT IS CONTRIBUTING TO BRIDGE NIGERIA’S FINANCIAL INCLUSION

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Callistus Obetta, Group Executive, Technology & Services, FirstBank; Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, FirstBank; Victor Asemota, Founder, Swifta Systems & Services and Keynote Speaker at the event; Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer, FirstBank and Abdullahi Ibrahim, Executive Director, Public Sector, FirstBank at the FirstBank FinTech Summit 3.0 held in Lagos today.

 

By Bala Augie

As financial solution providers continue to face stiffer competition globally from Fintech startups and emerging technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrency and crowdfunding, and the increasing level of disruption in the traditional mode of payment and business models, technology holds the key to unlock the potentials in the financial service sector across Africa through Fintech.

As the banking sector continues to find newer ways of engaging and providing customer centric services to bridge the current level of unbanked and under banked population to achieve Nigeria’s 2020 financial inclusion target, the fallout of the recently held FirstBank Fintech Summit 3.0., is that technology is the growth to financial institution in Africa.

“Customer experience and innovation are key in our approach to satisfying our customers. As a leading banking services solutions provider, FirstBank has continued to set the pace in the financial services industry, coming up with new initiatives to provide financial products and services with greater speed, accountability and efficiency,” said Adesola Adeduntan, the CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited at the recent FirstBank Fintech Summit 3.0.

Adeduntan opined that the third edition of the FirstBank Fintech Summit indicates the Bank’s commitment to putting its customers first. According to him, FirstBank is keen at offering excellent financial services by devising new ways of effectively and efficiently meeting customers’ financial needs.

Evidently, financial technology is causing positive disruption in the financial services industry. The impact of technology in lifestyle business and other areas of today’s customer is huge. We are therefore following global trends in collaborating with Fintechs and other big technology companies on several transformational initiatives to be able to satisfy our customers’ needs,” said Adeduntan.

According to Adeduntan, the main purpose of the FirstBank Fintech summit is to converge thought leaders in the FinTech space to champion discourse around financial technology and proffer solutions that will shape the future of banking.

He stated further that key areas of interest for the bank, is to champion the propositions around e-business and digital offering, agent banking, wholesale or transaction banking product suite, retail and consumer lending and SME productivity.

Also Read:  FIRSTBANK CELEBRATES 2019 CUSTOMER SERVICE WEEK, UNDERSCORES THE IMPACT OF CUSTOMER SERVICE THROUGH ITS 125 YEARS

“I am optimistic that every organisation represented here will be empowered to provide services with greater speed and solve real societal problems to the advantage of the Nigerian populace through the insights that will be gained from this event.

“At FirstBank, our promise is to always deliver the ultimate ‘gold standard’ of value and excellence. We will therefore stop at nothing to provide excellent and innovative financial services to our esteemed customers,” he concludes.

Victor Asemota, keynote speaker at the summit said the essence of Fintech is the ability to deploy technology towards solving human problems with tools and processes. According to him, innovation simply means the ability to effectively combine and deploy tools, process and people together to achieve an aim.

Asemota opined that Fintech will help to end the deficit narrative associated with human centered innovation. Hence, people plus innovation will result into solving real life problems, real time.

Chuma Ezirim, the Group Executive, eBusiness and Retail Products, said Fintech is an enabler in solving real problems in the financial sector. However, building a strong digital franchise in the financial ecosystem will be driven by successful partnerships.

In rolling out the figures, Ezirim said, “Over 18m customer accounts, over 10m cards issued (processes about 25% of card transactions in Nigeria). Highest number of Verve transacting cards; Visa debit multi-currency card. Over 8 million users (80% of customer base) with an average of 2.1 million transactions worth over N7 billion is processed daily.

“Over 3.3 million customers; over 500,000 transactions worth N23billion are processed daily. Over 36,000 active agents in Nigeria with a dominant presence in 754 local governments in the 36 states. Over 600,000 transactions worth over N9billion are processed daily,” said Ezirim.

According to him, in developing digital innovation lab, the banking sector must create new digital experiences for customers by enhance existing channels and products. Therefore, banks and the financial sector should leverage Fintech and non-Fintech ecosystem in Nigeria by promoting open innovation, collaboration and co-innovation in the Nigerian financial services sector.

Also Read:  FIRSTBANK WINS BEST PRIVATE BANK AND BEST RETAIL BANK IN NIGERIA AWARDS

According to Ezirim, in offering banking as a service to its customers is leveraging its API infrastructure. FirstBank is today offering payments through accounts, wallets and cards. However, he is of the view that there are growth areas and opportunities in Fintech.

According to him, Fintech allows banks to offer real time processing of transaction (instant payments and settlements). Mobile payments/acceptance channels through mobile Apps, USSD, QR Code, E-/M commerce, and others that are out-growing cards usage.

Similarly, Fintech has contributed to the digitalization of person to person, person to business, business to person and business to business payment transactions. And, it allows for new approaches to assessing risk in underserved segments especially with consumer and SME Loans.

Callistus Obetta, the Group Executive, Technology & Services, FirstBank, said financial technology has made positive disruption in banking and other financial services; and financial institutions will do well to take advantage of Fintech.

According to him, FirstBank is taking giant strides in the digital space. “In a short time, we have become the foremost financial inclusion solution provider with over 36,000 agents in all states of the federation. We have done over N2 trillion in transaction value from inception to date.

“The FirstBank Agent Banking Network is currently doing over N8 Billion daily. This is helping us reduce poverty in the country. Our Firstmobile application has become the foremost mobile banking application in the country with over 3 million users doing over 14 million transactions monthly,” said Obetta stating that FirstBank has been able to achieve this feat due to its ability to embrace technology.

However, Obetta urged participants at the Fintech summit to leverage on the insights shared by speakers. “We will continue to adopt the best technology and collaborate with the best partners to deliver value to our customers,” Obetta stated.

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WINNERS OF 2019 FIRSTBANK SPONSORED NATIONAL COMPANY OF THE YEAR COMPETITION CONTEST IN THE AFRICA COMPANY OF THE YEAR COMPETITION

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced that Taidob College Abeokuta, the 2019 winners of the National Company of the Year competition organized by Junior Achievement Nigeria would compete against student teams from 10 other Junior Achievement member countries across Africa. The student team contestants comprise representative from the Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland), Ghana, Zambia, Gabon, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Botswana, Kenya and South Africa. The event is scheduled for Friday, 6 December 2019 at Alisa Hotel in Accra, Ghana.

The African stage of the National Company of the Year competition is a buildup and sequel to the national event hugely competed by 12 student companies from across the country, including the eventual winner Taidob College Abeokuta. Terra Kulture, Lagos played host to the event on 3 October 2019.

Speaking on the event, Folake Ani-Mumuney, Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, First Bank of Nigeria Limited said “the youngsters from Taidob College are indeed not just solution providers, but also life savers. The impact of their innovation – the Gas Leakage Detector – would go a very long way at solving the problem of fire outbreaks due to gas leakages in homes, offices, and industries. I no doubt believe that they would make Nigeria and indeed the rest of Africa proud at the competition. We are delighted to associate with them and congratulate Junior Achievement on the feats so far attained”.

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Last year, Inventive Explorers, from Caro Favored College Ajegunle, emerged the grand winners at the Africa Company of the Year competition in Ghana. Their rechargeable handheld LED traffic lights has solved a real problem in various congested communities and reduced traffic accidents, especially in areas with school children crossing busy streets. Over the years, FirstBank has been at the forefront of partnering with Junior Achievement Nigeria in Company of the year program and competition.

The National Company of the Year Competition (NCOY) is an annual flagship event by Junior Achievement Nigeria’s (JAN), which convenes the winners of the JA Company Program Regional Competitions across Nigeria together to compete for the National Company of the Year Award. The national winner then proceeds to represent Nigeria against other JA Africa member-nation companies.

About FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading banking services solutions provider in Nigeria for 125 years. With some 15 million customer accounts, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services with over 750 business locations. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.

Also Read:  FIRSTBANK PROMOTES FINANCIAL INCLUSION THROUGH DIGITISATION IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is to always put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is to always deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

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UBA on a winning streak; Gets double recognition as best CSR Company in support of Education

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l-r: Former President, Brand Journalists’ Association of Nigeria, Mr Goddie Ofose; Managing Director/CEO Modion Communications, Mr. Odion Aleobua; Chief Executive Officer, UBA Foundation & Group Head, Corporate Communications, United Bank for Africa, Bola Atta; President Brand Journalist Association, of Nigeria, Mr Princewill Ekwujuru and Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Lagos State, Mr. Gboyega Akosile during award presentation to UBA for best institution in support of Education(CSR) 2019 and Bola Atta, as the top Corporate Affairs professional 2019 to UBA at the 7th Annual Brands & Marketing Conference 2019 in Lagos, recently

…Bola Atta wins Best Corporate Affairs Professional for 2019

Pan-African financial Institution, United Bank for Africa Plc once again got double recognition over the weekend as it emerged the best institution in support of Education(CSR) 2019 as the Chief Executive Officer, UBA Foundation & Group Head, Corporate Communications, Bola Atta, also received the award as Top Corporate Affairs professional 2019, at the 7th Annual Brands & Marketing  Conference. The event was held at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce Exhibition centre last Friday.

Atta, beat other nominees to the prize as a result of her impressive contributions at the steer of UBA’s corporate Communications with various laudable initiatives that have further increased the banks market share and brand presence ahead of competition.

 The successful organisation of the UBA Market Place,  which took place in Abuja last July; positioning UBA as a foremost pan Africa Bank and the birth of REDTV, the fast-paced digital lifestyle channel were some of her achievements which were read out as she received the award.

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UBA’s CSR arm, the UBA Foundation was crowned best institution in support of Education(CSR) 2019 for its dedication to improving access to education on the continent, particularly through the National Essay Competition where students have received grants from the foundation, for the past 9 years, at tertiary institutions in Africa.

Speaking about the National Essay Competition as she thanked the BJAN for the awards, Atta said “it is always such joy to see winners of this competition each year and to know that with the grants that they receive to go to university, they will be changing their lives, the lives of their families and impacting their communities positively.” Education remains one of the main pillars of the UBA Foundation.

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Since 2012, The Brand Journalist Association Conferences  Awards- have been celebrating outstanding companies who through their immense contributions have become the game changers driving the wheels of growth for brands  and by extension development in Africa.

The President of BJAN, Princewill Ekwujuru, commended UBA Foundation for its strong footprint across Africa.  “Through its Read Africa Initiative and the scholarship grants given to winners of the National Essay Competition, the Foundation has done very well to transform the lives of many’.

He said the awards were borne out of the need to recognise the Game Changers whose relentless contributions have helped give hope to Africa and at the same time, drive sustainable development amid strife.

“For these companies, they understand that agility, innovation, fluidity, decisiveness and commitment accelerate the pace of change, Africa craves for” he stated.

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UBA’s REDTV shuts down Lagos as over 25,000 Youths Attend Its Annual Rave

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REDTV, the online lifestyle network powered by the United Bank for Africa Group, held its annual Rave on Saturday, November 30 to officially kick-off the ‘Dirty December’ season.

Over 25,000 guests attended this year’s event which was held in Lagos and true to its theme, ‘The shutdown’, the rave was the talk of the entire town this past Saturday.

REDTV hosted the creative industry and other guests to an unforgettable night with top business executives, entrepreneurs, celebrities and A- Listers, entertainers, fashionistas and many young people just wanting to have a fun evening.

UBA Group chairman, Tony Elumelu and the CEO, Kennedy Uzoka, were seen mingling with guests and having a relaxed night away from the rigours of work.

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The REDTV rave, which has become the annual Christmas season opener to rival, started with a hot performance by Ajebutter 22, BOJ, SDC and TEMS. Upcoming artist, Fireboy, came in and brought guests to their feet with his hot and fresh releases.

The crowd was not disappointed and remained energised when Olamide jumped on stage to shake the venue with his famous songs that had everyone screaming and jumping for joy. International act, Jidenna  thrilled the rave fans, just as Burna Boy sauntered in and brought the audience to a standstill at a party that lasted till the early hours of the following day.

Also Read:  FIRSTBANK CELEBRATES 2019 CUSTOMER SERVICE WEEK, UNDERSCORES THE IMPACT OF CUSTOMER SERVICE THROUGH ITS 125 YEARS

UBA ambassador, the star boy, Wizkid had come into the party to the absolute delight of guests who saw him walking in. He mingled with guests for hours and then gave a surprise performance on stage that took the rave to another level.

DJ Consequence, Sparrow and hypemen Shody and Tosan also took turns to entertain the excited youths throughout the night of thrills.

 

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