First Bank Gears up to Achieve Customer Growth Target


First Bank Nigeria Limited is stepping up efforts to ensure that it meets its growth target of 30million customers over the next three years, the lender has said.

Managing Director/Chief Executive, FirstBank Limited, Dr. Adesola Adedutan, had announced last May that the Tier 1 lender had begun implementing a three year strategy that would result in its increasing its customer base to 30million.

He said: “The strategy is focused on significantly growing our customer base. We plan on having minimum of 30 million customer account over the three years. We are currently at about 14 million customer accounts.

Our commitment is that, given the number of branches that we already have, which is slightly below 750, we don’t intend to make additional significant investments in building new branches.

“We are left with aggressive digital marketing initiatives, which means, migrating our existing and new customers to alternative channels, namely First Online, Firstmobile, USSD and ATM cards. That is the way forward for us and we are making significant progress already.”

In a statement made available, the bank disclosed that in line with its strategy to grow its customer base to  30million over the next three years,  it  launched a  “Project Orion”- a,  “technology-led transformation programme aimed at fully automating the Finance, Risk Management, Compliance and Human Capital functions, using a proven Enterprise Resource Planning and Enterprise Risk Management (ERP/ERM) system.”

The ERP/ERM solutions, the lender said, would eliminate process redundancies as well as strengthen risk management and controls, support cost optimization, reduce opex and improve efficiencies and profitability.

It also stated that last June,  it announced the launch of its refreshed and user-friendly website, adding that besides being built for the digital age, the new website is easy to access and navigate for the average multi-screen user.

According to the statement, the new website is considered a unique evolution for the lender in terms of information and interactive services available for customers, investors, shareholders and the global community.

Commenting on the new website, Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, FirstBank, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, said:  “The launch of refreshed website comes in line with measures that the Bank has taken to execute its digital banking strategy that aims to progress all facets of the its activities in line with global best practices.”

She explained that FirstBank has benefited from modern technology tools to ensure a solid technical foundation for the new site, which would see continuous enhancements in the coming months to enhance the effectiveness of its operations and provide all key information needed by customers, investors and other visitors of the website to make investment decisions and have a better customer experience.

Similarly, the lender disclosed that as part of the strategy, it recently implemented new features on its mobile banking application – FirstMobile- to enhance security and customers’ digital banking experience. The new features, it stated, include, The Card-in-Control functionality, the Quick Response (QR) Code, the Transaction receipt and Save beneficiary functions.

Furthermore, the bank  stated that it recently partnered with Visa to launch the Mobile Payments Solution – mVisa, adding that this mobile solution allows customers pay for goods and services by scanning a QR code using a smart phone via the FirstMobile App.

“Payment goes straight from the consumer’s FirstBank account into the merchant’s account and provides real-time notification to both parties,” the bank explained.

Commenting on the innovative platforms that it recently launched,  the Group Head, E-Business, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Chuma Ezirim,   said the  lender would continue to put customers first by leading the industry in the use of technology to provide convenient and fast banking solutions.

“Partnering with Visa to deliver mVisa is part of the FirstBank’s strategy to deliver reliable, secure and convenient payment options to its esteemed customers.”

It further promotes our digital approach by delivering omni-channel experience to all our customers, while enhancing our existing offerings”, he reiterated.

It will be recalled that First Bank’s CEO, Dr Adedutan, had revealed in May : “Based on the figures of the last quarter of 2016, 47 per cent of the transaction volumes carried out by our customers was done via alternative channels.

“We aim at increasing this figure to 70per cent by 31st of December 2019. This will be very significant because that’s when we plan on achieving the 30million customer account minimum.”