The bank said it was inspired by the technological reach of top global brands
First Bank of Nigeria Limited says it is leveraging on innovative services made possible through the power of modern technology in maintaining its leadership position in Nigeria’s financial sector.
Inspired by major international brands like Apple, Samsung, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Google, Intel, Toyota and a host of others, which have continued to explore the power of innovation to maintain a competitive edge among their competitors in the top 100 global brands, First Bank said its aim is to stay at the top through innovation and consistency in quality of customer service.
At the 2013 Africa investor (Ai) Index series awards, the bank emerged the winner of the Most Innovative Ai SRI50 Company award for outstanding performance, beating other contenders, such as Mobil, Kenya Airways, BHP Billiton, Nation Media Group, Stanbic and Uganda Sasol.
Organisers said the award was in recognition of the bank’s commitment to creatively deploying socially responsible investments (SRIs) to enhance safe and convenient banking; financial inclusion, and support for small and medium scale businesses across Nigeria.
The Ai Awards are the only international, pan-African awards that recognise and reward Africa’s institutional investors, stock exchanges, best-performing listed companies, stockbrokers and capital market regulators.
FBN’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney, said though the bank has remained the market leader in Nigeria for over 100 years through dynamism and innovation, it would continue to invest heavily in the equity of the brand, by continuously seeking the connections between consumers and products they buy, and how to ultimately transform them into loyal customers.
Noting that the quest for innovative services as strategy to remain top of the business has pervaded Nigeria’s environment, she said indigenous brands are not resting on their oars in a bid to realise this objective.
“This trend has particularly been dominant in the financial services sector where innovation is redefining competition,” Ms. Ani-Mumuney said. “The sector is witnessing creative introduction of bespoke financial solutions that speak to several segments of the market. Some players in the sector are reaping rewards already by way of enhanced bottom line and awards from local and global reputable organisations.”
The Most Innovative Ai SRI50 Company award, she said, was a demonstration of the global recognition of the giant strides FBN has achieved over the years in the areas of deployment of technology to power its operations and services and ultimately making banking services more convenient, accessible and faster.
“First Bank is at the cutting edge of technology, attracts the best minds and demonstrates original and practical use of technology to provide customer convenience, better and cheaper services as well as greater access to financial services to over 7 million customers,” Ms Ani-Mumuney said.
She recalled that only last year, the bank, which commenced business in 1894, was adjudged “Africa’s Most Innovative Bank” at the African Banker Awards, adding that the Africa investor Index Series Awards ceremony coincided with the 6th annual Africa investor CEO Institutional Investment Summit, held in association with NYSE Euronext.
The Summit brought together over 250 international investors, African CEOs, pension funds and capital market professionals to explore investment partnerships in African assets and equities.
On the bank’s strategy for success, Ms Ani-Mumuney said its banking business has a strategy focused on building an efficient and customer-focused bank, which would deliver strong sustainable shareholder returns within the context of opportunities in the different regions where its businesses operate.
“Our strategy aims to re-define our leadership, such that we are also the best in terms of customer value proposition, employee satisfaction and good governance,” she said.
To provide the environment to realise set objectives, she said the bank recently extended its branch network from 650 in 2011 to over 750 branches in 2012 to improve accessibility to banking services for its customers.
In 2012, Ms Ani-Mumuney said the bank also successfully launched Firstmonie, a mobile financial services solution that enables subscribers conveniently perform banking transactions.
The service, she said, was aimed at facilitating e-banking through the use of the mobile phone, mitigate the challenges of banking services delivery to the vast unbanked market, whilst expanding financial inclusion of the unbanked into mainstream financial services.
In addition, the Bank launched several new retail products in 2012, one of which was the First Instant Savings account targeted at the under banked/unbanked segments of the society.
Among other products on the bank’s stable include those designed to strengthen its operational processes to enable them comply with international best practices, including the migration to the world class Finacle 10, a core banking software application, in 2013.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...