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FirstBank Cardholders Record N1.18trn in Transactions Value During Lockdown

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Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with her customers, focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and effective leadership. These, amongst others, are the reasons the Bank has dominated the financial market for over 126 years.

The Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructural development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialization schemes, and entrenchment of the cashless policy which gave rise to electronic cards being a veritable entity in the day to day transactions among the bank’s customers. Consequently, the use of its wide range of cards, developed with the ‘man on the move’ in mind, come with far reaching benefits and rewards, connecting the remotest of places even as the world is plagued by the novel Corona virus disease today.

The world as we know it today, is a global village, and its connectivity is at the tip of an individual’s finger. That aside, it also revolves around the use of ‘ordinary’ but highly customised cards and FirstBank is a confirmed Leader in this space. There’s no gainsaying the fact that for 126 years and counting, FirstBank, Nigeria’s premier bank, with accolades and awards trailing its existence, has continued to blaze the trail in certainly every financial innovation. And as the name signifies, has continued to be the first in virtually everything banking and finance. Little wonder that in December 2015 and May 2016, FirstBank was named the first financial institution in the country to achieve sustained alternative channels transaction volumes of 100 million transactions. Subsequently in 2017, the Bank also attained the Milestone of 10million card base, a feat that is first of its kind in West Africa and Second in Africa.

There is hardly any banking innovation, which is not traced to the company that has overtime woven itself into the very fabric of the society. Commenting on FirstBank’s strides, the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, disclosed that the bank’s 53, 000 agents across the country processed about N512 billion worth of transactions with differing values while the lockdown lasted. He noted that the bank was “able to actively support her customers, their families and businesses through these challenging times.” This is nothing short of the FirstBank advantage.

Adeduntan reiterated the faith Nigerians have in the use of FirstBank cards, saying that during the period of the lockdown, Nigerians with FirstBank cards used them 105 million times to make payments or withdrawals worth about N1.18 Trillion as they relied on the Bank to settle their banking needs. In addition, the Bank’s CEO noted that approximately 12.6 million withdrawals to the tune of N156 billion were carried out across FirstBank’s ATMs nationwide.

“Our customers made transfers over 106 million times with a total value of about N8.18 Trillion across our digital channels. We have also recorded over 275,000 new sign-ups to alternative channels covering our Firstmobile, USSD and First-Online platforms,” the CEO informed.

While calling on lovers of stress-free banking to get on board, the FirstBank CEO further assured existing customers of the bank’s relentless efforts to ensure that banking transactions continue seamlessly, adding that COVID-19 will not slow down her activities and efforts at staying true to her brand, and promise to her customers.

FirstBank cards come in a wide range of categories, each fulfilling tasks that are better imagined, but nevertheless are flexible and offer comfort, stress-free banking and wholesome peace of mind. It is therefore not a coincidence, that FirstBank is and remains Nigeria’s highest card transacting bank; a product of carefully thought out process, hard work and the quest to keep its customers first in all things. This is especially important at a time when movement and business activities were largely hampered by the lockdown, with the maintenance of social distance and the potential increase in the use of the Bank’s alternative channels – which is facilitated by its cards – for various transactions and business activities, thus staying safe to win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The range of cards available to customers of FirstBank are categorised into three broad groups, viz; DEBIT, CREDIT and PREPAID Cards. The grouping covers outstanding cards offerings such as Naira MasterCard, Verve Card and the pioneering Visa Multi-Currency Card. Others are Expressions MasterCard, Platinum MasterCard, Visa Infinite Credit Card, Visa Gold Credit Card, Naira Credit Cards (Visa Classic and Platinum), Visa Prepaid Card and Verve Prepaid Card.

FirstBank’s Naira MasterCard & Verve Card are Secured by Chip & PIN technology with local POS/Web limit increase available upon request. The Naira denominated MasterCard comes with various benefits such as online purchases, bills payments and cash withdrawals at ATMs world-wide. The various transaction limit(s) on Naira MasterCard issued by the Bank are N150,000 for ATM transactions, N2,500,000 for POS and N1,000,000 for Web transactions.

The FirstBank Verve Debit Card works with Chip and PIN technology to secure transactions. It allows the cardholder to conveniently pay for goods and services and is accepted by all ATMs, POS, Web, Mobile, Kiosk, and Bank Branch connected to the Interswitch network in Nigeria. It is available to all account holders and enables daily transaction limits of N150,000, and N500,000 on ATM and POS channels respectively. Customers can transact up to N1 million on the Web in a single transaction.

FirstBank cards also offer the Card Protection Transactions feature, which allows the cardholder to activate or deactivate it for all types of transactions, channels and locations, through the Card-in-Control Service on the Firstmobile app. The steps are few and simple:  On the Firstmobile app, go to Self Service > Card Services and choose card type (Debit, Credit, or Prepaid) to be activated or deactivated.

Another card innovation service by FirstBank is the Visa Gold Card, which offers higher daily spending capacity and limit on ATM, POS and Web. With the Visa Gold Card, the customer is assured of $1,000 daily ATM withdrawal, $10,000 POS transaction and $5,000 on the Web at any location around the world. It is a dollar denominated international Premium Credit Card issued in partnership with Visa International.

Moreso, it guarantees access to international emergency services such as Emergency Card Replacement & Emergency Cash Advance in situations where the card gets lost or damaged. The Visa Gold card comes handy when making airline bookings with its smooth seamless purchase options.

Yet another, among the FirstBank’s super cards, is VISA Debit Multi-Currency Card. It is by all intent and purpose, the first of its kind to be offered by any financial institution in Nigeria. It is an enhancement to the existing Visa Debit Dual Currency card and can be linked to any or all NAIRA, USD, EURO and GBP accounts. It is an international card with Chip and PIN technology which can be used to make payment anywhere in the world and across all channels – ATMs, POS & Web. With the Visa Debit Multi-Currency card, cardholders can make daily withdrawals to the tune of N150,000 (local) and $1,000 (international) from the ATM. However, on the Web, a total of N1,000,000 is permitted locally while $6,250 is allowed on the international corridor daily. POS transaction limit is N2,500,000 (local) and $2,500 (international).

The Platinum Debit MasterCard is a premium Debit Card denominated in Naira. It is linked directly to a customer’s Naira denominated Current and/or Savings account. It offers a convenient alternative to the use of cash, and cheques by giving direct access to funds in cardholders’ accounts across all channels like ATM, POS, and WEB etc.

Like other card types, its transactions are easily monitored via the FirstBank FirstMobile App or FirstBank Internet Banking service and offers 24-hour access support for all card-related complaints through First Contact. It is a card linked to a Naira denominated account, and it is valid for three years.

It is designed to suit the lifestyle of senior and management executives of multinational companies and leaders across various industries and sector of the global economy. Its daily limits include; ATM: N300,000; POS: N3million; Web: N2,000,000 as well as Cross-border TXN limit: $500 monthly.

For a brand that has consistently remained on top of its game, FirstBank Cards have received global recognition, as well as multiple honour for its reliable and trusted services.

Speaking further, Adeduntan highlighted that the contactless capability of the bank’s Visa and MasterCards support less human-to-human contact in executing transactions, in the same way that the Debit Cards have remained the base channel for self-onboarding to any digital channel such as USSD, Firstmobile, FirstOnline etc. It is therefore, imperative that customers get a Debit Card because of its peculiar nature to get enrolled on FirstBank’s digital channel for the best of services.

FirstBank’s benevolence did not end with making cards available to customers, but has initiated value added services attached to the cards including ‘discount at Merchants location such as Jumia Friday, Health Plus, among others. These are, without an iota of doubt, exclusive to FirstBank cardholders. This is why you must get your card(s) if you are yet to. Email us at firstcontact@firstbanknigeria.com, or call your Relationship Manager/Private Banker for whatever card options you require.

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Again, FG Extends Deadline for NIN-SIM Card Linkage

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The Federal Government has announced the extension of the deadline for Nigerians to link their National Identification Numbers (NINs) to their Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) by one month.

The deadline extension follows a request presented to President Muhammadu Buhari to that effect and his subsequent endorsement.

This disclosure is contained in a press statement issued on Friday, April 2, 2021. It was jointly signed by the Director of Public Affairs of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr Ikechukwu Adinde and the Head of Corporate Communications at the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr Kayode Adegoke.

The approval to extend the period of the NIN-SIM linkage to May 6 was given at the meeting of the Ministerial Task Force on NIN-SIM data linkage and key stakeholders held on Thursday in Abuja.

The statement noted that over 51 million people now have their NINs with a significant increase in the monthly enrolments.

The statement partly reads, “Based on the updates of the NIN-registration process, over 51 million people have been assigned NINs. There are many people who have enrolled and are in the process of being assigned NINs. With each individual having an average of three to four SIMs, the total number of SIMs tied to NINs would be close to the total number of registered SIMs in the country.

The current number of monthly enrollments has increased significantly to about 2.6 million registrations. There has also been a remarkable increase in the number of enrolment centres across the country with about 3,800 centres available for enrollments. There are also many more new centres in the pipeline,”the statement said.

The meeting chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, was attended by various key stakeholders, including the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa.

The EFCC boss, while addressing the meeting said that the NIN-SIM card linkage would support the Federal Government’s effort in checkmating the activities of fraudsters and cybercriminals.

Pantami, thanked Nigerians for their patience and compliance with the Federal Government’s directive on the NIN-SIM registration exercise and reiterated the government’s commitment to continue taking decisions aimed at easing the pains of the citizens with regard to issues related to NIN and SIM registration.

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Access Bank Acquires GroBank of South Africa for $60m

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Access Bank Plc has acquired Grobank of South Africa, shelling out a whopping $60million in the transaction.

The South African acquisition is its third in eight months, having taken over Kenya’s Transnational Bank in July and Zambia-based Cavmont Bank in January.
Access Bank paid about $60 million to purchase a controlling interest in South Africa’s 74-year-old Grobank, its CEO said on Tuesday, signaling the culmination of the tier 1 lender’s aspiration to foray into Africa’s most industrialised nation and tap its market.

The move makes it Nigeria’s first bank to do so, with Access Bank ploughing in both equity and debt in Grobank as part of the grand plan to explore trade banking deals on its way to becoming “Africa’s Gateway to the World,” Managing Director Herbert Wigwe told CNBC Africa.

It will open up the means to widen trade finance capacity in Grobank, which is presently increasing its attention on the country’s agriculture industry.

No mention was made of the precise stake size but the lender said in a note in September “the first is an initial cash consideration for a 49 per cent shareholding, increasing to a majority stake in the second tranche”.

Banks in Nigeria are stepping up efforts to create new ways of bolstering earnings beyond its shores as a buffer to an economic downturn that has triggered a fall in government bond yields and accelerated the incidence of restructured loan, helped by the pandemic.

“We have a full retail banking licence in South Africa. We will pursue a wholesale banking franchise. We will pursue trade finance,” Wigwe said.

The South African acquisition is its third in eight months, having taken over Kenya’s Transnational Bank in July and Zambia-based Cavmont Bank in January.

It hopes to leverage the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement to enter Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Angola, Namibia and Ethiopia.

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Ecobank Wins Starsight Sustainability Award 2020

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Leading West African Commercial and industrial solar power and cooling provider, Starsight says Ecobank is well placed to be the market leader in the establishment of “Green Branches’ across the country.

According to Starsight, it has so far delivered more than 100 branch facilities with its market leading renewable energy solutions, reducing Ecobank Carbon footprint and making Ecobank one of the market leaders in the implementation of renewables in the Nigerian Banking sector.  It went further to state that Ecobank is well placed to be the market leader in “Green Branches’ with an addition 50 Branches scheduled to go live in Q1 2021.

Presenting the Starsight Renewable Energy Sustainability Award for 2020 to Ecobank in Lagos, Teme Jack, Head Sales, SMEs, Starsight Energy, lauded the commitment of Ecobank towards application of renewable solutions thereby reducing carbon footprints, stressing that the award was well deserving. She was optimistic that Starsight partnership with Ecobank would further go a long way to environmental sustainability.

“Our partnership with Ecobank has delivered an outstanding result in a short window time and we look at forward to expanding our partnership in Nigeria and other geographical regions of operations”

Receiving the award, Kola Adeleke, Ecobank Nigeria Executive Director, Corporate Bank said “sustainability remains an essential part of Ecobank’s mission and vision of building a world-class Pan-African bank. Our long-term success is intertwined with the sustainable actions that supports the development of Nigeria and Africa as a continent. Ecobank is focused on mainstreaming environmental and social best practices in its operations and has adopted various Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) frameworks including the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP) as benchmarks for measuring its environmental stewardship. We have been in partnership with Starsight Energy to deliver a market-leading renewable energy solution across our branches in Nigeria, they have delivered over 100 branches facilities with renewable energy solution, thereby reducing our carbon footprint and making Ecobank one of the market leaders in the implementation of Principle 2 of Nigeria Sustainable Banking initiative”. He stated.

Further, Mr Adeleke reiterated that “Ecobank Group Sustainability framework is focused on four thematic areas which includes: Economic Transformation, Environmental Sustainability, Socially Responsible Financing and Human Capital Development. These focus areas are aligned with the tenets of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP).

“Besides, Ecobank is a signatory member of a number of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework including the Equator Principles and the United Nations Global Compact. We have set a target of achieving the goals as regard SDG/Climate change and society’s wellbeing. For instance, the Bank is committed to taking bold steps to reducing our carbon footprint, demonstrated in carbon emission from our business operations, travels, paper use and office waste disposal. We further commit to invest in energy efficiency by incorporating the use of renewable energy products and practices, design architecture for energy efficient building in new branch expansions, including retrofitting programmes; as well as mainstreaming sustainable practices in third party contractor’s agreement for supply and procurement activities.”

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