We want to be served. We want to be loved. We want to be in control. We want to associate with successful people, events, and stories. We want to know we are not being taken for granted. We want to know we are in the picture. That is what customers think about when they engage with your products and services. That is what they see when they walk into your banking hall, your store, click your button or use your app. Well, what do you see as the owner of the business?
The former group Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Bank did see a different vision. He foresaw the future of a bank that in the next three to five years would be one of the first five banks in Nigeria. He foresaw a full-fledged retail bank with strong digital backing. He saw a commercial bank with an underpinning for digital transformation. He had a vision of a major transformation of the bank. Five years later, that transformation occurred with the launch of Vulte, a mobile digital bank.
In July 2016, Tokunbo Abiru, the former helmsman of the bank while addressing the shareholders and 61 graduate trainees of Polaris Business School in Ibadan said that within the next five years, the newly-announced bank has the potential of becoming one of top five banks in Nigeria. He reassured that the bank “can boast of a strong market share going by several transformative business initiatives”. One of these initiatives is Vulte.
Actually, the trajectory of Vulte started two years ago. Now, the soup is ready. The table is set. Polaris Bank has opened its Vulte to its customers. It has given them total control. As such, the customers are now at liberty to determine “how they want to be served, the way they want to be served.” With the release of Vulte, Polaris has joined the league of champions. It has moved to the next rung of the ladder. It can compete as never before. With Vulte, the bank has affirmed to serve the customers better. It has admitted to making their banking experience pleasurable.
While the customers are basking in the euphoria of gaining access into the Vulte, they have the opportunity to, among other activities, open accounts, set transaction limits, verify identity documents, register biometrics, ask questions and apply for instant loans! On the loan side, this is a new vista. But the bank said the customers can “determine how delightful your banking experience will be”. The acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Innocent Ike corroborated this fact. He said Vulte is “returning all powers to the customer as king”. He emphasised that the customers are now at liberty to enjoy “unhindered, contactless and refreshing banking experience” at their finger-tips.
The chairman of the bank, Muhammad Ahmad said at the launch of Vulte that the goal of Polaris is to offer customers and non-customers a 24-hour seamless service. This is what led to the pursuit and actualization of Vulte. And more arrays of banking products that would cater to the varying needs of its diverse customers are coming.
Ahmad said that the opening of the Vulte was a milestone in the bank’s pursuit of a strong and digitally-led retail brand. Almost three years ago, he opined, the bank’s management was clear on the type of bank to “build and the direction to go”. This clarity was informed by the fast pace of change in the financial service and the apparent technology-defined outlook of banking across the world.
Meanwhile, globally, banks are working hard to make their services convenient, efficient and reliable to all customers using technology tools. Technology has placed Bank of America among the best banks for convenience. Bank of America has gone a step further in its customer service strategy by offering customers in-person education about its mobile banking tools. It has more than 3,000 digital ambassadors stationed at various branches to educate customers on how to take advantage of the bank’s online and mobile banking services.
Hopefully, Polaris Bank will match this customer education aspiration. But in the meantime, its customers are happy. They have the steering wheel. They are in control of their banking needs. Writing on the Appstore page, the customers paid glowing tributes to Vulte mobile banking platform. Engineer Peter Michael wrote that digital banking is not about “the goodness and smoothness of transactions”. Instead, “we are talking about security, interface communication, navigation and alignment of options”.
The other users Paul Muraina shared his experience about on boarding, which he said was seamless “without a need to visit the brick and mortar branch to complete the process”, and Suleman Usman simply wrote “deep, rich contents. No failed transactions. User-friendly”. Matthew Onje wrote that Vulte “is simply digital banking on the go. Bravo to the developers”. Praizeville Blast, one of the users, explained that Vulte banking platform was awesome. “This is one of a kind and the best from Polaris to its customers”, he wrote.
The Chief Digital Officer of Polaris Bank, Bamidele Adeyinka said Vulte will transform everything that happens in the ‘brick and mortar’ space to clicks and buttons. The Vulte comes in mobile (Android and iOS) and web applications. It allows customers to access banking services at the click of the button. On-boarded customers can access PayDay loans on the mobile and web digital platform where “eligibility will be displayed to the customer within the Vulte application”.
To walk into the Vulte and be served like a king, take two steps. Provide your BVN. Take a selfie. Your face will be compared automatically with the picture you have on your BVN profile. This is possible through a facial recognition tool. It is an advanced cognitive and artificial intelligence facial recognition technology. It is one of the ways Polaris Bank opens its Vulte and gives power to the customers. It is the Polaris Bank’s edge. Isn’t it attractive? Isn’t that what you want? To be served like a king?
Rarzack Olaegbe wrote from Lagos.
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