One of Nigeria’s premier financial institutions, Firstbank says investment in technology over the years has produced fruits, especially during the five weeks Covid-19 lockdown, declared by the Federal Government.
The Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, who stated this while welcoming its customers from the lockdown period, also assured that stringent measures have been implemented to ensure its branches and locations across the country operate in line with the health and safety guidelines issued by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
“We are glad that our investment in technology over the years has really borne fruit as many of our staff were able to work remotely during the lockdown. With effective IT support to hand, we were, therefore, able to actively support our customers, their families and businesses through these challenging times,” he said.
Dr. Adeduntan disclosed that FirstBank was able to ensure business continuity across eight countries – Nigeria, Ghana; Democratic Republic of Congo; Sierra-Leone; the Gambia, Guinea; Senegal and United Kingdom, acknowledging that the Covid-19 Pandemic has truly posed a trying period.
The Bank’s Chief explained that during this period, it proactively reviewed products and services to support customers better and expressed his appreciation to Nigerians for the wholehearted adoption and patronage of its electronic services, as these indeed demonstrated the trust which the public repose in the Bank and in return the Bank commits to always live by its resolve on being true to its mantra – You First.
Provided a snapshot of transactions carried out across FirstBank’s e-banking channels during the five-week lockdown in various parts of the country, Dr. Adeduntan said FirstBank recorded approximately 12.6 million withdrawals amounting to about N156bn across our ATMs well placed across the country.
“Nigerians with FirstBank cards, used them 105 million times to make payments or withdrawals worth about N1.18 Trillion as they relied on us to settle their banking needs. Our customers made transfers over 106 million times with a total value of about N8.18 Trillion across our digital channels. During this period, our 53,000 plus agents have processed over the N512bn worth of transactions. We have also recorded over 275,000 new sign-ups to alternative channels covering our Firstmobile; USSD and First-Online platforms,” he highlighted.
As part f its efforts to empower SMEs in Nigeria, Dr. Adeduntan said FirstBank has enhanced palliatives such as the introduction of special waivers on repayment fees on its credit cards, and a 90-day loan moratorium on selected products across markets, to help cushion the impact of the toll on employment and livelihoods.