Ugo Aliogo writes on First Bank of Nigeria Limited’s reward scheme which is also aimed at promoting financial inclusion
Driving financial literacy is one of the core mandates of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with support of commercial banks.
Under the CBN’s revised National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), the strategy is designed to ensure that 80 percent of adults have access to financial services by 2020.
The CBN stated that the major goal of the revised strategy is to reduce the proportion of adult Nigerians that are financially excluded to 20 percent in year 2020 from its baseline figure of 46.3 percent in 2010.
As part of its desire to drive financial inclusion, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has taken the campaign beyond the regular adult customers to the youth segment between 18-29 years, especially in tertiary institutions and informal sector.
The bank launched its financial literacy campaign with a promotional activity known as XploreFirst promo.
But for an individual to participate in the reward scheme, such a person must have the Xplore first savings account. The account is a FirstBank savings account variant designed specifically for students between the age ranges of 18–29 years. A minimum amount of N0.00 is required to open the account and the account holders are to maintain a minimum balance of N100 to run the account.
Customers are offered scholarship of N150, 000 as incentive to maintain a certain amount of deposit, in this case, N10, 000 in their account over a 30-day period to qualify for the monthly draws and giveaways.
Customers who successfully maintain the set balances over six months period were eligible to win the jackpot of N150, 000. As seen in most cases, the target audience usually prefers accounts with the zero account balance over those that require minimum deposits. The purpose of this promo is to improve the savings culture among the youths, whilst preparing them for the future.
For customers who participated in the promo, XploreFirst customers are encouraged to save or maintain a minimum amount of N10, 000 in their accounts during the promo period to be eligible for the scholarship raffle draw. Incremental deposits of N10, 000 in the account entitles the account holder to multiple tickets for the raffle draw.
A total of 198 winners emerged from the promo with 18 account holders (three from each of the six geopolitical zones) being rewarded with scholarships of N150, 000 in a grand finale raffle draw and N5,000 airtime as consolation prizes to 180 account holders (5 from each of the six geopolitical zones). The promo which kicked off on October 1, 2018 ran for six months to March 30, 2019, after which there was a grand finale draw.
In the promo, the bank splashed scholarships worth N2.7 million to 18 winners in the XploreFirst promo initiative as part of efforts to boost savings culture and promote financial inclusion among students. The winners were drawn from the six geopolitical zones. The winners emerged through an electronic draw conducted by Tequila on behalf of the bank and supervised by KPMG, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lagos State Lottery Board and Consumer Protection Commission (CPC).
Speaking at the grand finale draw in Lagos recently, FirstBank Group Executive, e-Business and Retail Products, Mr. Chuma Ezirim, said XploreFirst is a savings account variant designed specifically for students between the age ranges of 18 to 29 years.
Ezirim said a minimum amount of 0.00 naira was required to open the account and account holders were to maintain a minimum balance of N100 to run the account.
He said that the XploreFirst promo was one of the special benefits of the account.
According to him, the 18 winners that emerged at the final draw would be offered scholarships of N150, 000 each.
Ezirim said that the initiative was targeted at youths, especially those in tertiary institutions and informal sector to enhance savings culture and drive financial inclusion across the country.
“Customers are offered yearly scholarships of N150, 000 as incentives to maintain a certain amount of deposit; in this case, N10, 000 in their account over a 30-day period to qualify for the monthly draws and giveaways.
“Customers who successfully maintained the set balance over the six months period are eligible to win the jackpot of N150, 000, the grand finale prize,” he said.
Ezirim noted that the initiative would be sustained by the bank in the future as a way of promoting the CBN financial inclusion mandate.
Also speaking, the FirstBank Head, Youth/Women Banking, Mr. Olufemi Odumuboni, said the promo dynamics was centered at making people to engage in financial discipline.
Odumuboni said that winners were selected based on certain principles that made them eligible to qualify for the draw.
He explained that apart from the N2.7 million set aside for the yearly scholarships that the bank had splashed about N900, 000 to customers that emerged winners at the various monthly draws for data purchase on their mobile phones.
“Winners from the monthly draw selected from the bank’s six geopolitical zones, are entitled to N5, 000 each for data purchase on their mobile phones,” Odumuboni stated.
The Chief Planning Research and Statistics Officer, Consumer Protection Council, Ms Susie Onwuka, commended the bank for ensuring transparency throughout the promotion process.
Onwuka said the bank had implored modern technology in the promo process to eliminate bias, noting that the agency was happy with the process and the bank.
“Promotions should be registered to show transparency and ensure fairness to the consumers,” she stated. Onwuka added that the regulatory body would follow up with the winners to ensure they were rewarded accordingly.
THISDAY gathered that some of the scholarship winners were Mr. Offiong Micheal, Mr. Ezugba Chukwuebuka, Mr. Olorunfemi Oluwatunmise, Mr. Adekale Adenike and Ms Agbakwuru Dorcas, and others.
In his remarks, the Head, Retail Business and Community Banking, FirstBank, Abiodun Famuyiwa, noted that as a bank they believe in investing in the youth segment of the market, adding that youths are the hope of the country, therefore the bank has devised a platform where they would be able to interact with them.
He also noted that the focus of the bank in organising the promo is to have more of the youths in the bank’s database, stating that traditionally, people see the first bank as the bank for the old people. He noted in line with the bank’s desire to get the youths onboard for the promo, it embarked on mass sensitisation through the social media channels, and campus tour.
Famiyu, added that the Chairman and some executives of the bank were also involved in the camp sensitisation tour, “we were at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife in last year, and some other campuses to let students know that from a young age they can be taught financial education and be prepared for the future.”
According to Famuyiwa, “The focus of the bank actually goes beyond promo. We are actually using it as one of those areas that we want to support the youths, but importantly the bank is after what we can actually do to impact the youth population. We have series of programmes to be able to build them up and prepare them for the future. We do this programme regularly and we have just finished a set. Hopefully, we will have another one. Before we do another promo, we will do another sensitisation. We also want to bring the youths onboard and interact with them.
“As a bank they believe in investing in the youth segment of the market because we believe that they are the hope of the nation. The bank has devised a platform where they would be able to interact with the youths and the focus of the bank in organising this programme is to be able to have more of them in our books.
“Traditionally, people see FirstBank as old bank for the old people. When we look at our database, we realised that we have much of the youth population than the other banks. We are not there yet; we still want to have more of them.
We want to have many of these youths opening accounts with us, and be able to fill the bank because FirstBank is a youth friendly bank, because we have so many products focused on the youths. We have a drive towards digitalisation presently in the bank. The promo ran for six months October 2018 to March 2019.
“We have been doing this promo for years. In December, we followed at the qualifying candidates. Then we picked one of them just like it is done in a draw. A draw was conducted in the six geo-political zones, and winners emerged. The
The same was done for January, February, and March. On the six month, which is May, we had the grand finale.