First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FBN) is in partnership with a digital money transfer service company, WorldRemit, which enables migrants abroad transfer money directly to First Bank accounts in Nigeria.
The pact is poised to drive convenience and ease of banking for its customers as well as provide the much-needed push for financial inclusion initiatives.
The new strategic partnership considerably expands WorldRemit’s footprint in the country and allows its customers in over 50 countries to send money to First Bank accounts directly from their phones.
The deal supports WorldRemit’s plan to serve 10 million customers connected to emerging markets by 2020.
Speaking at a press conference to announce the partnership in Lagos, the Deputy Managing Director, FirstBank, Gbenga Shobo, said the lender has extended its frontiers to WorldRemit in order to leverage the wide e-platform capabilities it offers to further ease the money transfer process for our numerous customers across the globe, who seek new and easier payment transaction options regularly.
Shobo noted that WorldRemit’s mobile-first, digital model complements the financial institution’s digital strategy to drive convenient banking transactions from the comfort of homes and offices using the FirstMobile and FirstOnline banking platforms.
“We are excited at this partnership. Our brand promise is to always deliver the ultimate ‘gold standard’ of value and excellence; and this collaboration with WorldRemit is one of the many ways we provide value to our customers as we continue to devise innovative ways to provide convenience and ease of banking for them,” he said.
He urged customers to take advantage of the opportunity leveraging on the disruption of technology.
The Regional Head, Middle East and Africa, WorldRemit, Andrew Stewart, expressed delight in partnering with the bank stating that the firm is the first mobile remittance organization, which enables consumers abroad to send money home as simple as sending an Short Message Service (SMS).
Explaining the process, Stewart said: “It’s all about having an application, you enroll as a customer with personal information and demography.
To fund the transaction, we do not take cash, we don’t have an agent network, in the 52 countries that we currently operate and we are licensed.”
“What we have done credibly well, we have digitized the process. To make a transaction, you either use a credit or debit card or you do a bank transfer to the WorldRemit account in that country.
“For instance, if you are loading from UK, you can send from your Barclay’s account to your WorldRemit account, as soon as it drops in our account, we release the funds to banks who are our partners.
“One thing we are proud to announce is what we believe is significant; We are exploring an intra Africa or out of Africa opportunities.
Families sending kids abroad to study, who need to get money to the children, that is what we are looking to explore through 13 African countries and we going to look into exploring the opportunity in Nigeria.”