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Jaiz Bank partners CBN to deepen rural financial inclusion

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Determined to strengthen Nigeria’s economic diversity, Jaiz Bank Plc, is partnering with the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), to promote financial inclusion especially in the rural communities.

The Managing Director of the bank, Hassan Usman, revealed the strategic plan will include extending micro banking instrument to the rural communities that are not captured in the conventional banking system and financing small scale enterprise.

Hassan, who spoke last week at the ongoing Kano International Trade Fair, explained that with capital base now at N15 billion, Jaiz Bank is empowering micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) to spread economic prosperity in the country.

Usman, who said Nigeria’s economy is a complex mono-product one, commended the CBN for providing various risk management scheme to ensure the productive base of the economy is increased.

He said Jaiz Bank has now adopted a strategy of demonstrating its products in the rural areas through agent banking system, where people will be encouraged to access financial banking.

Usman explained that the bank is carrying out effective awareness creation on Islamic financial services through the media and social media for better information and understanding of its banking system.

“Let me commend the CBN’s efforts for deepening Nigeria’s economy, especial for encouraging commercial banks to support various business initiatives, which now boost the economy. Commercial banks through the risk management instrument of CBN can now fund agriculture and other sectors of the economy through loans.

“In Jaiz Bank, we have provided several business opportunities through our customer-friendly products. Even without CBN’s intervention, even when our liquidity remains dormant with the apex bank, we are glad with the introduction of Sukuk and other short-term instruments, the bank is better repositioned for more patronage,” Usman emphasised.

He said the bank, which started as a regional bank with three branches at inception, has now acquired national status with 34 branches across three geopolitical zones in the country, with a projection of expanding to the 36 states before the end of 2018.

He explained that presence at the ongoing Kano International Trade Fair, was targeted at increasing the bank’s visibility, and showcase its numerous products to customers.

– GuardianNG

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Banking / Insurance

Standard Chartered deepens investments in digital solutions

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Standard Chartered recently reiterated its commitment to improving the overall banking experience of its clients’ through digitisation and technology.

With a renewed focus on strengthening its digital banking platforms to provide clients with multiple and convenient alternate banking channels, the Bank will be optimising its digital banking solutions and its branch network to cater to the evolving needs of its client.

The Head of Retail Banking, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited, Ebehijie Momoh, noted that the bank seeks to provide convenient and accessible banking for its clients everywhere and at anytime without time restrictions, physical limitations and dependence on branches.

She added that this plan also aligns with the financial inclusion and cash-less policy strategy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). “We have observed a significant increase in the use of our digital platforms by our clients compared to the use of our physical branches. This is in sync with observable behaviours in the digital age with customers embracing technology and digital channels to conduct transactions.

“Therefore to ensure we are optimizing all existing service platforms for the benefit of our clients, we continue to invest in upgrading our digital banking solutions and branch network.

“Our clients want flexibility, accessibility and efficiency in the solutions and services we provide and with our ongoing optimisation drive, they will be able enjoy these benefits from the comfort of their homes, offices or on the go.”

Earlier this year, the bank launched its first and fully digital retail bank in West Africa as an important milestone in its path towards innovation in its customer service value proposition and plans to roll this out in Nigeria shortly, following Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

The bank said it will also strategically merge some of its branches across the country- 14 branches will be merged, while maintaining a network of 21 large branches strategically located for the convenience of clients.These mergers enables the Bank to further reassign resources to other functions and locations that require more support with client interfacing.

– GuardianNG

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Banking / Insurance

Rotich pushes for bank mergers

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Treasury secretary Henry Rotich. FILE PHOTO | NMG

 

Kenyan commercial banks should seek consolidation opportunities to strengthen and take advantage of business opportunities across the African continent, Treasury secretary Henry Rotich said last Friday.

Speaking during the signing of a Sh13 billion financing commitment with the German government, Mr Rotich welcomed the announcement of a merger between NIC Bank and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), saying it represented the direction that local banks should take.

He said West African banks had taken advantage of their size to expand into the rest of Africa and Kenyan financial institutions would similarly benefit from increased stability and strength.

“The merger is very welcome. Kenyan banks will benefit from increased stability and will be stronger when they are bigger. This should help our banks to be able to take advantage of opportunities elsewhere in Africa,” said Mr Rotich.

Ecobank and UBA banks that currently operate in Kenya have their origin in West Africa. They have been expanding across the continent in the past decade.

NIC and CBA announced the merger on Thursday, which, if successful, will create the third largest lender by assets in Kenya after KCB Group and Equity Bank.

The new entity will have Sh444.3 billion in total assets based on disclosures at the end of September, relegating Co-op Bank to the fourth from its current third position.

The merger is subject to approval by shareholders and regulators.

NIC has traditionally been strong in asset finance and has sought to expand its retail market presence with new branches and the launch of digital banking platforms. CBA, on the other hand, has been strong in corporate banking with ability to give big-ticket loans.

The merger places them in a stronger position to confront the headwinds that have faced the industry since the commencement of restrictions on movement in lending rates in September 2016.

BusinessDaily

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Banking / Insurance

Zenith Bank launches POS payments without cards

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Zenith Bank Plc has launched the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, USSD, payments on Point of Sales (USSD on POS), enabling customers to pay for goods and services via POS terminals in merchant locations or on e-commerce websites without the use of cards.

The innovative payment solution, which is powered by CoralPay, allows Zenith Bank customers to use the *966# Eazy Banking (USSD) to pay for goods and services on POS terminals in merchant locations or on e-commerce websites through the generation of a payment code on the POS terminal which is then confirmed by the customer using their USSD pin.

At the launch of the new payment solution, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc., Mr. Peter Amangbo, said: “This solution is an exciting and highly innovative initiative in promoting financial inclusion, facilitating payments by customers either remotely in the comfort of their homes/offices or at merchant locations without the use of a payment card. With this solution, customers in remote locations plagued with challenges of poor Internet access can now carry out transactions easily using their feature phones.”

Zenith Bank’s *966# Eazy Banking on POS will further drive financial inclusion through agency banking. It also allows bank customers, irrespective of their bank, to carry out withdrawals from their accounts or wallets without cards on the POS terminals at agent locations.

The solution has been successfully connected to all existing POS terminals through integration with leading Payment Terminal Service Providers (PTSPs) and directly to e-commerce sites (Websites) of Zenith Bank merchants/customers.

It also supports wallet-to-wallet transactions across provider banks and Mobile Money Operators (MMOs), enabling interoperability across platforms, financial institutions and payment service providers (PSPs) in the payment industry. (NAN)

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