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How FCMB’s e-Savings Account stood out of the crowd in driving inclusion

Taking a look at e-saving accounts across the Nigerian banking industry, it is important to understand that the key reason why the system is expanding is because of the inherent flexibility in service access and stress-free service delivery by the products.

But, a cursory look at the platform show that the First City Monument Bank’s (FCMB), e-Savings Account is loaded with innovative and stress-free operating features.

Pundits are aware that e-Savings Account provides a convenient and secure platform for potential customers of FCMB to open accounts online through the bank’s Facebook page and website.

This has explained why the introduction of FCMB’s e-Savings Account is in line with the bank’s commitment to bringing traditional excellent banking services closer to all segments of the society and drive financial inclusion while enhancing customer experience via social media.

By the design of the product as FCMB, all a prospective e-customer needs to do is just to log on to the FCMB Facebook page, fill out some basic personal data and then upload his or her scanned valid passport pho­tograph and signature mandate.

Looking at the benefits coming with the scheme, these include zero opening balance, zero min­imum operating balance and minimal docu­mentation requirements. While the account balances cannot exceed N200,000 single deposit and withdrawal transactions cannot also exceed N20,000, the bank said, “in addi­tion to the above reduced KYC requirements, single deposits above the set maximum de­posit and withdrawal limit of N20,000 and account balances above N200,000 would require additional KYC, which are valid ID card and residential address visitation.

The meaning of this is that the new customer is by extension, entitled to free access to online banking and free access to mobile banking.

As if the e-Savings Account is not enough, FCMB proudly introduced ‘Nairawise’.

By design, the clinical target of this account is to drive financial inclusion which it is doing quite well by virtue of statistics from the bank and customers testimonies.

Explaining more on the secrets, a top corporate affairs staff of the bank who pleaded anonymity said “The product is tailored for the underbanked segment including artisans across the country and a couple of the very informal sector (middle and lower classes) of the society’s segments”. “The robust system is structured with ease for customers’ operation. The bank is taking Nairawise to the target customers in their various loca­tions, adopting its agency banking model to reach the customers in far remote areas of the country to increase financial literacy and inclusion.

“The opening balance is N500; minimum operating balance is zero while monthly maintenance fee is also zero naira. With FCMB’s Nairawise, banking is simple, very easy and anybody can have an account.

Riding on the philosophy of offering simple products with high reliability quotient, the bank prides itself by its ‘extraordinary people and culture: a customer-focused and performance-driven environment.’

According to the Divisional Head, Retail at FCMB, Mr. Olu Akanmu, “our unique retail lending capacity enables us to offer valued services to millions of underserved Nigerians directly and indirectly, while supporting our portfolio diversification objectives to deliver sustainable growth. Our primary objective is to establish final inclusion and encourage savings among this segment of our customers through our value-adding solutions.”

“Now that the bank has added other feathers with these products, expectations are high among the ranks of customers of yet another pacesetting innovation.

FCMB has been among the top customer friendly banks with strong branch networks spanning across the federation especially since it acquired the defunct FinBank.