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Exploring Opportunities In Banking Through Digital Innovation

Posted: Mar 31, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

Like it is in many countries of the World, Nigeria’s banking industry seems to be daily getting deeper into competition occasioned by innovative approaches to financial services by commercial banks. Bamidele Ogunwusi, writes;

Contrary to the belief that ideas are just good enough, banks’ ability to turn the ideas into reality to solve customers’ varying needs are becoming new value propositions, especially with Information Technology that is available on call.

Examples of how banks can bring retail banking closer to the people are demonstrated in the activities by Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) to ensure that banking is made easy and convenient

GTBank believes that in the age of digital revolution, it is the very simple technological innovations that often have the most transformative impact on people and the society, while for FCMB, the need to continually build and sustain its values especially in the retail banking space is a task that is getting a lot of attention.

In this regard, Guaranty Trust Bank plc has once again set a new standard in electronic banking services with the introduction of Bank 737.

Bank 737 offers a very simple banking alternative which remarkably does away with virtually all of the limitations of not just conventional banking (going to a bank branch for banking services), but also online banking.

While conventional banking requires the physical presence of the customer at a bank branch, and online banking demands Internet access and a mobile application, banking via 737 requires none of online banking.

Bank 737 is a true test of simplicity. GTBank customers no longer need to bother about data or internet connection as the service is built on a USSD interface which enables it work on any type of mobile device. Users are required to simply dial the short USSD *737# from any mobile phone to get started.

GTBank’s Bank 737 offers a wide range of banking services, from money transfer to card less withdrawal, bill payments, airtime recharge and even unique services like token pin generation, checking the status of cheque book request, retrieving internet banking details, amongst others. It is not just about the wide range of services available on the 737, but how the services are delivered; by simply dialing *737# on any mobile phone.

If the simplicity of the Bank 737 is amazing, its speed is even more so. Transactions using the 737 take less than a minute to conclude, meaning it is even quicker than online money transfer. It gets even faster with the availability of short access codes. Among these are *737*0# for account opening, *737*7# to generate token code, *737*37*Amount*Smart Card No# to pay for Star Times Subscription and so much more.

Backing up its simplicity and speed, is its security. The customer is the only one who can access the 737 service for his or her GTBank Account because it only makes use of the mobile number that is linked to the account. Bank 737 also requires customers to personally sign off all their transactions by providing the four last digits of your GTBank Naira MasterCard.

“We have seen remarkable success in the volume of transactions via the Bank 737, and this is largely due to the simplicity of the platform and the convenience that it affords our customers,” said Segun Agbaje, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc.

“The introduction of Bank 737 marks another milestone in our quest to make banking truly simple for our customers. We remain firm in our objective to delivering banking products and services tailored to meet the diverse needs of our ever-growing customer base by leveraging technology to make banking services more accessible, faster and safer for all our customers” he added.

He, however, said GTBank has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry. The GTBank brand is regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run financial institutions across its subsidiary countries and serves as a role model within the financial service industry due to its bias for world class corporate governance standards, excellent service quality and innovation. The Bank operates from over 230 branches in Nigeria and has banking subsidiaries in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom.

Also, FCMB, as one of the leading financial services provider, the bank is aware of the fact that effective use of technology, innovations and topmost service delivery represents the future of banking and this is the way to go in order to attain the highest levels of customer advocacy.

It is for this reason that FCMB has continued to embrace these priorities to keep pace with evolving consumer demands and market trends to consistently provide world-class banking experience at all its touch points.

To further prove this, the bank recently upgraded its information technology infrastructure to the Finacle 10 Core Banking solution, from the Finacle 7 version. The advanced service-oriented architecture (SOA) of Finacle 10 helped the bank to optimise its processes, enhance system capability, performance, scalability and security, among others. This has ensured that transactions at the Bank’s branches and other touch points are faster with less downtime at its alternate channels, while also ensuring the provision of more innovative products to customers.