By Babajide Komolafe
FirstBank of Nigeria Limited has announced that it has reinforced its technology infrastructure to enable anyone in the country open a FirstBank account through their mobile phones, without visiting any of its branches nationwide.
In a statement announcing this development, the bank said the investment in its mobile banking infrastructure is in furtherance of the need to deepen financial inclusion in the country.
It added that the technology enables 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.
The statement on the FirstBank virtual bank account read: “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 phone(s) 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 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.
“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#.
“The bank currently has over 9.5 million of its nearly 20 million customers on its USSD banking platform.”
Explaining, Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products of 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.
“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.”