Thursday, February 16, 2012 8:59 PM
The landscape of e-banking services in Nigeria is set to witness a major shift as Nigeria 's foremost financial institution, First Bank of Nigeria Plc (FirstBank) signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with three telecommunication companies, Etisalat Nigeria, GLO Nigeria Limited and Airtel Nigeria Limited to provide seamless mobile money services to millions of Nigerians. Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the three telecommunication companies at Radisson Blu, Victoria Island, Lagos, the four companies promised to combine their strengths to provide secure, convenient and user-friendly mobile banking services to the unbanked through the use of mobile phones.
Mobile banking is the use of mobile phones to remotely access bank accounts, primarily for account inquiry, mobile transfer, retail payments, micro insurance, savings remittances, mobile top-up, utility bill payments and government collections among others.
Commenting on the initiative, FirstBank’s Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Bisi Onasanya said mobile banking is hinged on three planks which are defined in terms of financial inclusion for the unbanked and the underbanked, person to person transaction in terms of sending and receiving money as well as retail payment for the purchase of goods and services. He added that “With over 600 branches and thousands of business partner outlets in strategic proximity to the people, coupled with over 1,500 ATMs including cash deposit ATMs, cardless and biometric ATMs, over 5million active accounts and more than 1,200 Point of Sale terminals, FirstBank has always been at the forefront of innovative financial services solutions.
In addition to the mobile money services, Onasanya said FirstBank has in place a world-class IT infrastructure to drive its e-payment services across transaction touch points. These services, according to him, include: Internet banking services, FirstOnline, FirstBank Visa Gold Credit Card, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Point of Sale Terminals (POS) FirstBank MasterCard, FirstBank Classic Card, FirstBank Naira MasterCard and Cash Deposit ATMs amongst others.
The Group Managing Director further assured that FirstBank will continue to lead the innovation drive in mobile banking through progressive and robust upgrades that will enable mobile money customers perform actions such as salary lodgement, pension and other types of payments and disbursements. Onasanya further affirmed that with a rich heritage, dependability and innovative dynamism, FirstBank is naturally the best partner for any telecom company to provide this novel initiative.
In their various responses, the three telecom companies expressed their pride to be part of this historic event with FirstBank; a partnership that underscores the central role by the partnering organizations in the futuristic cashlite economy.
The mobile money initiative, an integral part of the broad objectives of the FSS 20:2020 was conceived by the Central Bank of Nigeria because of its critical nature to achieving a “cashless society which is fundamental to the nation’s goal of becoming one of the top 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020.
Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications