FirstBank Cardholders Records N1.18trn in Transactions Value during Lockdown MWorld FEATURES, NEWS Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with her customers, focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and effective leadership. These, amongst others, are the reasons the Bank has dominated the financial market for over 126 years. The Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructural development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialization schemes, and entrenchment of the cashless policy which gave rise to electronic cards being a veritable entity in the day to day transactions among the bank’s customers. Consequently, the use of its wide range of cards, developed with the ‘man on the move’ in mind, come with far reaching benefits and rewards, connecting the remotest of places even as the world is plagued by the novel Corona virus disease today. The world as we know it today, is a global village, and its connectivity is at the tip of an individual’s finger. That aside, it also revolves around the use of ‘ordinary’ but highly customised cards and FirstBank is a confirmed Leader in this space. There’s no gainsaying the fact that for 126 years and counting, FirstBank, Nigeria’s premier bank, with accolades and awards trailing its existence, has continued to blaze the trail in certainly every financial innovation. And as the name signifies, has continued to be the first in virtually everything banking and finance. Little wonder that in December 2015 and May 2016, FirstBank was named the first financial institution in the country to achieve sustained alternative channels transaction volumes of 100 million transactions. Subsequently in 2017, the Bank also attained the Milestone of 10million card base, a feat that is first of its kind in West Africa and Second in Africa. There is hardly any banking innovation, which is not traced to the company that has overtime woven itself into the very fabric of the society. Commenting on FirstBank’s strides, the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, disclosed that the bank’s 53, 000 agents across the country processed about N512 billion worth of transactions with differing values while the lockdown lasted. He noted that the bank was “able to actively support her customers, their families and businesses through these challenging times.” This is nothing short of the FirstBank advantage. Adeduntan reiterated the faith Nigerians have in the use of FirstBank cards, saying that during the period of the lockdown, Nigerians with FirstBank cards used them 105 million times to make payments or withdrawals worth about N1.18 Trillion as they relied on the Bank to settle their banking needs. In addition, the Bank’s CEO noted that approximately 12.6 million withdrawals to the tune of N156 billion were carried out across FirstBank’s ATMs nationwide. “Our customers made transfers over 106 million times with a total value of about N8.18 Trillion across our digital channels. We have also recorded over 275,000 new sign-ups to alternative channels covering our Firstmobile, USSD and First-Online platforms,” the CEO informed. While calling on lovers of stress-free banking to get on board, the FirstBank CEO further assured existing customers of the bank’s relentless efforts to ensure that banking transactions continue seamlessly, adding that COVID-19 will not slow down her activities and efforts at staying true to her brand promise to her customers. FirstBank cards come in a wide range of categories, each fulfilling tasks that are better imagined, but nevertheless are flexible and offer comfort, stress-free banking and wholesome peace of mind. It is therefore not a coincidence, that FirstBank is and remains Nigeria’s highest card transacting bank; a product of carefully thought out process, hard work and the quest to keep its customers first in all things. This is especially important at a time when movement and business activities were largely hampered by the lockdown, with the maintenance of social distance and the potential increase in the use of the Bank’s alternative channels – which is facilitated by its cards – for various transactions and business activities, thus staying safe to win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The range of cards available to customers of FirstBank are categorised into three broad groups, viz; DEBIT, CREDIT and PREPAID Cards. The grouping covers outstanding cards offerings such as Naira MasterCard, Verve Card and the pioneering Visa Multi-Currency Card. Others are Expressions MasterCard, Platinum MasterCard, Visa Infinite Credit Card, Visa Gold Credit Card, Naira Credit Cards (Visa Classic and Platinum), Visa Prepaid Card and Verve Prepaid Card.