Stanbic ITBC Bank was a part of our #smwInnovatorsEat breakfast series today. The bank spoke about all things money and the future of digital banking. Gbenga Agboola, project manager of for mobile payment solutions at Stanbic ITBC Bank, was able to speak to us about the obstacles for some Nigerians opening accounts and what the bank is doing about it.
In the presentation it was mentioned that there are about 90 million adults in Nigeria but only about 25 million have bank accounts. How are you outreaching to the rest of the adult population and encouraging them to do mobile banking?
The first thing to ask is why don’t they have accounts. They don’t because they’re probably in a rural area without any banks. Also because they probably don’t have the documentation required to open an account. So we’ve created something called mobile money that allows you to open a bank account; it does go into a bank using your mobile phone and the mobile phone number becomes the account number. So that’s live right now, and with that we’ve acquired almost a million new customers on that platform. You don’t have to go to a bank to do anything; you go to an agent to do withdrawals and deposits and you can also do bill payments through the application.
What are some obstacles to having a bank in some rural areas?
Technology infrastructure. There are no networks, so how would the bank connect to the database, so that’s the issue with banking there. But with mobile phones you can be in the remotest part of the country and actually open a bank account using mobile money. Just dial *909# on your phone; everyone can do it on their phone and with that they can open an account.
What decided Stanbic Bank to want to sponsor Social Media Week Lagos?
Because we understand the influence of social media. We’ve got a very active social media presence. We’ve got Twitter and we use it for customer complaint management and all of that. We’ve got a Facebook channel for managing customer complaints and all that, so we understand the value of social media and we are looking towards digital banking. We believe we should bring banking to the people, not they come to the banks. And the easiest way is through Twitter, through Facebook; it’s what people use everyday anyway.
We thank Gbenga Agboola for speaking to us and a big thank you to Stanbic ITBC Bank for sponsoring Social Media Week Lagos 2014.