How FirstBank Leverages Technology To Promote Virtual Bank Account Opening For Customers
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced that it has reinforced its technology infrastructure to enable anyone in the country to open a FirstBank account through their mobile phones without visiting any of its branches nationwide.
The investment in its mobile banking infrastructure, the bank said, is in furtherance of the need to deepen financial inclusion in the country, enabling account opening to be carried out on its *894# USSD banking, FirstMobile (self-service telephone banking), its website, as well as the 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 bank said.
“Beyond opening an account in any of our over 700 branches, we are delighted with the investments at reinventing our business processes over the years, especially with the use of technology,” said Chuma Ezirim, group executive, e-business and retail products, First Bank of Nigeria Limited.
“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 our customers and Nigerians, irrespective of where they are,” Ezirim said.
The DSE App is an end-to-end encrypted mobile application installed on the phone(s) of FirstBank staff which enables them to open an account for to-be customers, FirstBank explained. Upon the completion of the account opening process via the DSE App, the customer is notified of his or her account number through a text message on the mobile phone used to register the account.
With FirstBank’s *894# USSD banking, various banking activities are carried out on a mobile phone – across the four major GSM network operators in the country – without the use of the internet, the bank said. To open an account via this means, customers are required to dial *894#, then select ‘open an account’ to provide the information required or by simply dialling *894*0#. The bank currently has over 9.5 million of its nearly 20 million customers on its USSD banking platform.
The FirstMonie Agent Banking, FirstBank explained, is an agent banking initiative from the bank that is 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.
FirstBank said creating these virtual ways of opening a bank account – the staff DSE App, ATMs, FirstMonie Agents, *894# USSD banking, FirstMobile and website – reinforces its resolve to ensure that more Nigerians and residents have access to banking, especially through its state-of-the-art financial services.
“We remain resolute to being the key to banking, enabling business and financial activities that would continue to propel the country’s economic growth and development,” Ezirim said.