As a customer-centric institution and leader in the Nigerian financial services sector saddled with the responsibility of ensuring financial inclusion for all, First Bank Nigeria Limited has over time churned out several remarkable e-banking products and championed the discourse on bridging the gap between traditional financial service providers and the FinTech industry through its annual FinTech Summit.

This has become imperative going by the level of disruption in the financial services sector by FinTech startups courtesy of open data, artificial intelligence, cloud technology, and other emerging technologies. Hence more than ever, a collaboration between traditional financial service providers, their regulators and stakeholders, experts, and major players in the FinTech industry is now needed to key into the opportunities tech presents for these financial institutions to serve its customers better and ensure financial inclusion for all.

To this effect, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released a regulatory framework earlier this year that would encourage Open Banking in the country. This is to allow third-party entities to gain access to data and insights from traditional financial institutions to build products that would improve the financial inclusion of the unbanked in the country. It is on the back of this development that the theme for this year’s FirstBank FinTech Summit “Open Banking and Its Derivative Opportunities for the Financial Ecosystem,” was born.

The FirstBank FinTech Summit 5.0 is scheduled to hold on Thursday, 7th October 2021 by 10 AM (WAT). Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event will take place virtually via zoom. Interested participants can register to attend the event here https://firstbanknigeria.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_28xoWNUKToGd1NvknIAdog

On average, about 1,000 participants attend the physical FirstBank FinTech Summit in Lagos, Nigeria. However, last year’s virtual event inspired by COVID-19 witnessed an attendance of over 6,000 participants from 52 countries globally with a Silicon Valley-based investor of international repute as keynote speaker.

The summit will be discussed by experts, industry stakeholders, key players, policy influencers, and regulatory officials in the Nigerian financial, banking, and technological space.

Leading the discussion as a Keynote Speaker is Prof Ndubuisi Ekekwe, Lead Faculty of Tekedia Institute with a Ph.D. in Engineering from John Hopkins University, USA. He will be joined by other panelists; Ankit Sharma, Director at Strategy&, a part of the PwC network, based out of Mexico; Ope Adeoye, CEO (Chief Plumber) at One Pipe; Aminu Maida, Executive Director, Technology & Operations at Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc (NIBSS);  Musa Jimoh, Deputy Director, Payment Systems CBN; and Olayinka Situ, Head, Corporate Transformation, FirstBank.

Worthy of mention are the several innovative e-banking products and feats by FirstBank which have over the years been integral in promoting financial inclusion whilst also influencing and magnifying opportunities in Open Banking.

First is the First Bank Firstmonie agent banking which has a network of over 130,000 agents (the largest bank-led agent network in Africa) across 772 of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria. This is in addition to over 750 physical branches and over 2600 ATMs nationwide.  This network of mobile money agents has achieved over 750 million transactions worth N15 trillion (about $30 billion) processed from inception to date. In addition to that, in December 2015 and May 2016, FirstBank was recognized by Interswitch as the first financial institution in Nigeria to achieve 100 million sustained monthly transactions in electronic payment.

On a number of firsts: In 2011, FirstBank launched the first cash deposit ATM in Nigeria. It is also the first bank in Nigeria and second in Africa to issue over 10 million ATM cards to customers. FirstBank was also one of the first banks to launch the WhatsApp banking channel with theirs being the most secure in Nigeria.

The official mobile banking application, FirstMobile, has onboarded over 4.5 million people with an average of 27,730,830 transactions every month. In 2020, FirstMobile bagged an award as the Best Mobile Banking App in 2020 and 2019, the Best Mobile Banking App by Global Business Outlook.

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, First Bank launched Africa’s premier FastTrack ATM designed to enable ATM transactions without physically interacting with the machine. It allows users to make use of their mobile phones to execute the required steps for the ATM’s implementation via the USSD or First Bank mobile banking option. After scheduling, the customer then visits the FastTrack ATM to end the transaction by clicking a near field communication contactless card on the machine to get their cash. This innovation allows First bank customers to make quick cash withdrawals whilst remaining COVID compliant.

Furthermore, the FirstOnline internet banking platform which provides customers unrestricted and secure access to their First Bank accounts through any internet-enabled device had an impressive 597,466 customers as of June 2021, a 17% growth rate from 2020 and 578,292 transactions per month averaging a value of 388 billion per month.

These e-banking products are in addition to the already existing mobile banking and USSD option with more than 12 million people on its quick banking service using the popular *894# banking code. The bank also has its friendly mobile wallet called Firstmonie Wallet which has the customer’s phone number serving as his or her account number.

Only recently, FirstBank launched a new mobile banking application, called LIT application which is not just about bills payment, funds transfer or airtime recharge, but an app equipped with several other exciting features that reiterate the Bank’s resolve to continually expand its digital architecture to modernize its interaction with customers, irrespective of where they may be across the world.

First Bank of Nigeria Limited is a leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria with over 127 years of banking experience and more than 30 million customer accounts providing a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services.

The Bank has an international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone, and Senegal, as well as a representative office in Beijing.

Over the years it has won multiple awards some of which include; the Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria (2011-2016), by the globally renowned The Banker Magazine of the Financial Times Group; the Best Retail Bank in Nigeria (2011 – 2017), by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and the Best Bank in Nigeria by Global Finance for 15 years.

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