Friday, January 22, 2016 7:00AM / Stanbic IBTC
As part of efforts to ensure a strong and viable small and medium scale enterprises sector, Stanbic IBTC Bank, a member of the Stanbic IBTC Holdings, has said it would continue to provide digital banking support for SMEs in the country.
The bank said it has developed a unique value proposition to support SMEs with transactional products; savings and investment solutions; lending products; payment solutions and wealth protection solutions underpinned by an investment in technology, which is designed to make banking easier for its SME clients. Apart from deploying best-in-class SMEs payment solutions such as bulk payments, the bank recently launched an internet banking offering specifically for SMEs as well as SME BizDirect, a personalized digital banking platform.
Acting Head, SME Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Obinna Ukachukwu, said “the SME BizDirect is a multi-channel virtual business centre that avails the SME operator a personalized channel through which to engage the bank when the need arises. To help clients improve operations, we believe a migration to digital banking will reduce the challenges faced by customers and help them run more efficient businesses”. Ukachukwu also added that, “Instead of spending time travelling to visit our branches, we have created a platform called SME BizDirect for customers to fulfill their banking transactions by telephone and email.”
The SME BizDirect allows businesses in the country as well as from all over the world interact with the bank. The bank said the BizDirect, a virtual centre from which well-trained bankers interact with customers by telephone and email, is the first of its kind in Nigeria. According to Ukachukwu, “It is a testament to the bank’s focus on SMEs that it created a fully dedicated centre to handle enquiries, requests and all other banking needs for SMEs.”
Head of Business Banking at Stanbic IBTC, Anya Duroha, says, “SME BizDirect will change how banks interact with their clients. The era of depending on physical branches to serve clients is disappearing, and technology will be the major driver of customer engagement in the future.”
According to Duroha, “Information is critical to business success. Through Stanbic IBTC SME BizDirect, operators are better informed on developments within their business environment, which enables them make effective planning.”
As part of its support for SMEs, Stanbic IBTC regularly organizes seminars for SME operators. Among other benefits, the seminars seek to equip SME operators with financial, marketing, and management skills that they can readily deploy to transform their businesses and grow their bottom lines.