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Firstbank Celebrates ATM Feat, As Cash Dispensed Hits N2.8 Trillion In 2017

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the nation’s leading bank is celebrating the success in the services provided by its Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) which were said to have dispensed over N2.8 trillion between January and December 2017.

A statement by First Bank said, its leadership position had been validated with the efficiency and creativity of its ATMs as it presently accounts for 37 percent of bills payment services on ATMs in Nigeria’s banking industry.

“In 2017, about 402,102 bill payments were made through the Bank’s ATMs while the value of airtime purchase was about N1.7 billion,” the statement said.

Chuma Ezirim, the FirstBank’s Group Head, E-Business, said the distinct developments in the bank’s ATMs were achieved as a result of the desire to reach out to more people in the country and as part of putting customers at the heart of the business.

“FirstBank is positioned to meet the needs of its customers and to reach out to the under banked and unbanked. Our mission is to remain relevant in the lives of our customers by continually working at making banking services a more convenient experience for our customers,” Ezirim said.

The statistics provided by the bank on the ATM feat include that;

*To cater for the financial services needs of its customers and in line with its strategy to drive convenience and ease in banking, FirstBank is presently leading in the industry as the Bank with the highest number of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), with 2,897 ATMs deployed across the Nigeria, making it the nation’s financial institution with the widest retail footprint. The Bank’s ATMs have unique functional features which include bills payment, cash transfer, air-time top-up, cash deposit among others.

*The bills payment option is the non-cash transaction feature on the ATM that makes it easier for customers to pay for bills such as Cable TV subscription, post-paid phone bills, and pre- booked airline tickets. These transactions can be executed through the Quickteller option on any of the Bank’s ATMs. The Transfer feature enables customers to transfer money from their accounts to both intra (within FirstBank) and interbank (other banks) accounts, thereby reducing the queues in the banking hall, saving time as well as providing a more convenient option for customers’ money transfer needs. FirstBank is currently responsible for over 15 percent of interbank transactions and 21 percent of airtime vending. As active mobile network users in Nigeria are over 142 million and the need to recharge is on the increase, the Bank’s ATMs also provide the platform for convenient and easy top-up.

*To further enhance convenience, FirstBank’s ATMs operate the Cash Deposit function which allows customers to deposit funds without customarily having to enter a banking hall for this transaction. The Bank’s ATMs are also equipped with cardless functionality that makes it easier for non-bank customers to deposit or withdraw money from the ATMs without a Debit card. This is a direct testament to its value proposition of putting customers first.

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Visa and PalmPay partner to Deepen Financial Inclusion in Africa

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Visa, the global payments technology company and PalmPay, a new player in Africa’s Fintech industry, recently announced their partnership to advance financial inclusion across Africa through access to digital payment services.

As part of the partnership, PalmPay will launch an app with a mobile wallet in Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania. The mobile wallet will offer customers a platform to top up funds electronically or via offline access points, with the ability to make and accept individual and merchant payments. Visa cardholders will be able to initiate payments within the app and make online and mobile payments by attaching their card details to their PalmPay profile. Non-card carriers can generate a virtual Visa card upon registration.

In Addition, the PalmPay app will provide access to a variety of financial products offered by third parties. PalmPay is also introducing a loyalty points programme to incentivize the growth of the service.

The Vice President Strategic Partnerships, Fintech and Ventures at Visa, Otto Williams said; “Advancing financial inclusion remains a priority for us at Visa and this collaboration with PalmPay will help us reach consumers and merchants not previously addressed by traditional financial services, across Africa. Around the world, there is a growing recognition that cash is a major impediment to advancing financial inclusion and Africa remains a cash centric region. Delivering access to digital payment services on more mobile phones will be a significant step towards the continued expansion of financial inclusion on the continent.”

Also Speaking on the partnership, CEO of PalmPay, Greg Reeve said; “We are building a digital financial ecosystem that brings together the best services and offers from across each market, which will be made available to anyone with a smartphone, including the unbanked. Most existing apps are built to only carter for people who already have formal financial accounts – that is you can only send money, request for loans once you have an account to deposit or receive such loans. With our mobile wallet, third parties can plug into our platform and encourage people who are just joining the digital world, to make and receive payments.”

PalmPay will also expand its partnership to other industry players including Global Technology Partners and Ecobank Group, who are working with the company on payment processing and banking services respectively.

PalmPay is currently being tested by a limited number of private beta customers in Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania and will be launched to the public in the coming months. An early access version is available on the Google Play Store and the iOS App store that allows users to accumulate PalmPoints, which can be used for transactions once the full app is available.

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Huawei revenue hits $27bn by 39% in Q1

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Huawei Technologies has announced that its first-quarter revenue jumped 39 percent to 179.7 billion yuan ($26.81 billion), in the Chinese technology firm’s first-ever quarterly results.

The Shenzhen-based firm, the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker, also added its net profit margin was around 8 percent for the quarter, which it said was slightly higher than the same period last year. Huawei did not disclose its actual net profit.

The limited results announcement comes at a time when Washington has intensified a campaign against unlisted Huawei, alleging its equipment could be used for espionage and urging U.S. allies to ban it from building next-generation 5G mobile networks.

Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations and launched an unprecedented media blitz by opening up its campus to journalists and making its typically low-key founder, Ren Zhengfei, available for media interviews.

The Chinese firm, which is also the world’s No. 3 smartphone maker, reported recently the number of contracts it has won to provide 5G telecoms gear increased further despite the U.S. campaign.

By the end of March, Huawei said it had signed 40 commercial 5G contracts with carriers, shipped more than 70,000 5G base stations to markets around the world and expects to have shipped 100,000 by May.

Huawei’s network business saw its first drop in revenue in two years in 2018. But Ren Zhengfei said in an interview with CNBC earlier this month that network equipment sales rose 15 percent while sales of the consumer business increased by more than 70 percent in the first quarter.

“These figures show that we are still growing, not declining,” Ren said.

Guo Ping, rotating chairman of the company, has said he expects all three business groups – consumer, carrier and enterprise – to post double-digit growth this year.

Huawei also said that it had shipped 59 million smartphones in the first quarter. It did not disclose year-ago comparable figures, but according to market research firm Strategy Analytics, Huawei shipped 39.3 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2018.

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