Innovation critical to adapting to new normal — Adeduntan

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The Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, says innovation is critical to adapting to the new normal, and lies at the core of the bank’s strategy.

He said this in a statement made available to the NewsDirect on Saturday in Lagos.

Adeduntan is quoted as speaking on the bank’s launch of the FastTrack Automated Teller Machine (ATM) a Next Generation ATM.

First of its kind in Africa, it is designed to promote financial activities on the ATM devoid of any form of physical interaction with the machine.

The introduction of the FastTrack ATM, done in partnership with Inlakas, enables customers carry out cash withdrawals without having to touch the interface of the ATM.

With the FastTrack ATM, widely referred to as Touchless Solution, the customer carries out the transaction by using his or her mobile phone to perform the needed steps designed originally for implementation on the ATM.

By using one’s phone, the transaction is carried out – in advance – through the Bank’s USSD or mobile banking option.

Upon the schedule, the customer visits the FastTrack ATM to complete the transaction by tapping a contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) card on the ATM to withdraw his or her cash.

The bank says its customers can now leverage the real-time mobile banking capabilities of their cellphone to activate cash withdrawals at the FastTrack ATM.

The ATM solution, according to the bank, is its response to control the spread of COVID-19, whilst promoting the safety of customers that carry out transactions at the ATM.

Adeduntan said the bank’s activities were driven to provide seamless financial solutions to ensure customers are able to timely carry out their transactions in safe, secured and efficient ways.

He said this was designed to put the customers ahead in digital banking, not just in Nigeria but Africa.

“We are delighted to set the pace regarding the use of the Next Generation ATM in Africa which enables customers to use their mobile phones to remotely initiate ATM-based cash withdrawals via our *894# USSD banking or FirstMobile application.”

The Managing Director, Inlaks, Mr Olufemi Adeoti, on his part, is quoted as saying that the company, together with Hyosung ATM OEM, was partnering with FirstBank to introduce the first fully compliant COVID-19 FinTech ATM.

Adeoti said that this was given that consumers were more adaptable to mobile technology.

“This is in alignment with the ‘new normal’ desired customer experience which includes digitalization and delivering a secure contactless cash access to the bank’s FirstMobile customers for better user experience, simplicity, speed and convenience,’’ he said.

FirstBank’s mobile banking application – FirstMobile –  was recently awarded the Best Mobile Banking App award 2020 in the Global Finance Best Digital Bank Awards 2020 as well as 2019 Best Mobile Banking App by Global Business Outlook.

The bank has been at the forefront of promoting electronic banking solution in Nigeria.

In 2017, it was recognised as the first financial institution in Nigeria and the West-Africa sub-region to issue 10 million ATM cards to customers across the country.

It was the second in Africa to achieve the milestone.