By Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma
FirstBank of Nigeria Limited has put in place measures to enable customers open accounts through their mobile phones, without visiting its branches nationwide.
Mr Chuma Ezirim, FirstBank Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, said in a statement on Friday in Lagos, that investment in its mobile banking infrastructure was in furtherance of deepening financial inclusion in the country.
Ezirim said that investment in the bank’s mobile banking infrastructure would enable account opening to be carried out on its *894# USSD banking, FirstMobile (self-service telephone banking) and its website –www.firstbanknigeria.com.
He said that account opening could also be carried out by bank’s staff, through the Direct Sales Executive (DSE) application installed on their mobile phone, ATMs and the bank’s over 55,000 FirstMonie Agents spread across the country.
“Opening an account with FirstBank through any of these means is seamless, convenient, fast, and user-friendly.
“The DSE App is an end to end encrypted mobile application installed on the phones of FirstBank staff which enables them to open an account for to-be customers.
“Upon the completion of the account opening process via the DSE App, the customer is notified of his or her account number through text message on the mobile phone used to register the account.
“With FirstBank’s *894# USSD banking, various activities are carried out on mobile phone across the four major GSM network operators in the country without the use of the internet.
“To open an account via this means, dial *894# then select ‘open an account’ to provide the information required or by simply dialling *894*0#,” Ezirim said.
He further said, “the bank currently has over 9.5 million of its nearly 20 million customers on its USSD banking platform.”
According to him, the FirstMonie Agent Banking is an agent bank initiative designed to take banking closer to people, thereby bridging the gap between the banked and unbanked.
“FirstMonie is a channel through which various banking activities like FirstBank account opening, funds transfer, bill payments, data and call credit recharge services, amongst others are carried out.
“The agent banking initiative has also contributed to reducing poverty, being responsible for the indirect employment of over 150,000 people across the country,” the group executive stated.
Ezirim said that beyond opening an account in any of the over 700 branches, the bank was delighted with the investments at reinventing its business processes over the years, especially with the use of technology.
“This has been critical to staying relevant in the industry for over 126 years and being the financial partner of the first choice to all customers and Nigerians, irrespective of where they are,” he said.
The group executive noted that creation of the virtual ways of opening account reinforced the bank’s resolve to ensure that more people have access to banking. (NAN)