FirstBank of Nigeria Limited has revealed that it has recorded giant strides in its drive for financial inclusion via its 894 quick banking, a USSD based channel that enables customers to access banking services using any type of phone and without data/internet.
The bank explained in a statement that transactions via the banking channel grew by about 250 per cent in 2017, to now over 4.5million customers with a target base of over 6.5 million before the end of this year. Over N1 trillion worth of transactions have been processed using the 894 services, with over N3 trillion worth of transactions projected to be processed this year alone.
The bank explained that the platform was designed for businesses to receive payments for goods and services, and to address their cash management challenges. It is also a very viable channel for government to collect taxes and other statutory payments.
According to FirstBankâ€™s Group Head, e-business, Chuma Ezirim, a major element of the bankâ€™s strategy is to make payments and collections easier for businesses around the country.
Digitising payment and collections processes not only improves transparency and efficiency, but also helps a business to grow.
â€œThatâ€™s why our 894 service is very useful for our Corporate and SME customers because every Nigerian can pay using 894 irrespective of the type of phone he/she uses, and without the barrier of internet accessâ€, he enthused.
Speaking on the impact of the bankâ€™sfinancial inclusion services on customers and the economy, Ezirim said that in addition to providing FirstBank customers more convenient and faster ways to carry out basic banking transactions, â€œthe 894 banking service has led to the creation of over 500 new jobs for young Nigerians who assist customers to adopt digital platforms at the various branches of the Bank nationwide.â€