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Ecobank Prioritizes Mental Health of Staff, Customers

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Mental Health of Ecobank Staff

By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel

As part of its corporate action to support general well-being among citizens, Ecobank Nigeria has said that it focuses on the mental health of staff members, customers, and members of the communities where it operates.

Considering the enormous stress people encounter while making it up to their respective day-to-day tasks, the financial institution said there is a need to create awareness on how colleagues can strike a balance between work and other aspects of their lives.

The Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, Mr Patrick Akinwuntan, stressed this during his speech at the 2021 Ecobank Day event which had the theme Mental Health – Time to Talk and Act.

The event was held in Lagos, crowning the bank’s three-year campaign to raise awareness and help prevent Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

In his view, colleagues should be able to vent their mental health issues among one another. It helps make one sensitive to offering support and managing the stress available in a working environment.

For this reason, he said, “So, this year, we are focused on mental health, educating people on how to identify and manage the disease, while also helping reduce stigma and discrimination.

“We all know that Nigeria is a country with about 200 million people, and there is a lot of stress on all of us. At Ecobank, we encourage staff to speak out through word of mouth, written communication, WhatsApp, SMS message, even if it is an anonymous call to support victims.”

He said the organisation was determined to identify and eliminate factors that can potentially breathe down negative effects on its journey to better mental health.

In her contribution at the annual flagship event, the Executive Director, Commercial Bank, Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Carol Oyedeji, encouraged staff members not to allow themselves to be drained by fatigue and other things that could negatively impact their mental health.

“Please when you close work, shut down your system and find ways to connect with your spouse, family and in any other thing that will give you joy and happiness,” she encouraged.

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Banking

Airtel’s Smartcash Payment Service Bank Begins Operations in Nigeria

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Smartcash Payment Service Bank

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The payment service bank of Airtel Africa Plc, Smartcash, has commenced operations in Nigeria with the launch of the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary at an event held in Lagos on Thursday.

The leading provider of telecommunications and mobile money services, which trades its shares on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, launched the PSB arm at the Eko Hotels and Suites with several personalities in attendance.

Some of the bigwigs at the event were the Group CEO of Airtel Africa, Mr Segun Ogunsanya; the Chairman of Smartcash PSB Ltd, Mr Kingsley Umadia; the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Rabiu Olowo; Chief Human Resources Officer of Airtel Africa, Ms Rogany Ramiah; the Special Advisor to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Maryam Uwais; the Managing Director/CEO of Airtel Nigeria, Mr Surendran Chemmenkotil and the CEO of Smartcash PSB, Mr Muyiwa Ebitanmi, amongst others.

During the occasion, Airtel said the SmartCash PSB will provide secure and reliable financial services to customers across Nigeria after obtaining a license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The firm, which has its headquartered in Lagos, will accept deposits from individuals and small businesses, carry out payment and remittance services within Nigeria, and issue debit and prepaid cards among other banking services.

SmartCash also enables person-to-person payment and transfers from across the world. The service is currently available at selected retail touchpoints, though it hopes to reach the 36.8 per cent unbanked adult population in Nigeria, as estimated by the Access to Financial Services in Nigeria report.

Plans are underway to expand the innovative, technology-driven services to all parts of the country, including the furthest and most remote, in an effort to accelerate financial inclusion for all Nigerians.

“The launch of SmartCash Payment Service Bank gives us fresh impetus at Airtel Africa to continue growing our footprint in the continent and delivering innovative solutions.

“In the bank, we have the best of both worlds – a hybrid of commercial bank and mobile financial services – offering last mile connection to the financially excluded. Through it, we want to contribute towards driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, to empower Nigerians while transforming the payment landscape in Nigeria and the rest of Africa,” Mr Adesanya stated.

On his part, Mr Ebitanmi said: “Through SmartCash Payment Services Bank, we aim to bridge the financial divide by providing rural and urban Nigerians access to innovative, highly secured and reliable banking services that are powered by technology and are relevant to their needs.”

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Banking

New, Existing Customers of Stanbic IBTC to Enjoy Non-Collateralised Digital Loans

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

New and existing customers of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc have been assured of non-collateralised digital loans at any time of the day for their personal and business use

The chief executive of the lender, Mr Wole Adeniyi, explained that customers can access the affordable funding from N20,000 to N20 million from any location 24/7 without having to visit the branch and without paperwork as they are all digitised end-to-end.

He stated that the Stanbic IBTC Digital Loans come in various packages like Stanbic IBTC Unsecured Personal Loan, Top-Ups, Smart Loan, EZ Cash, and Device Financing.

It was explained that through the Stanbic IBTC Smart Loan solution, customers of the bank who also have mutual fund investments with Stanbic IBTC Asset Management can access up to N20 million instant loan to finance personal and business projects while their investments continue to earn them returns.

With the upgraded Stanbic IBTC Unsecured Personal Loan, salary earners can apply for a top-up of existing loans through their mobile devices from the comfort of their homes.

Similarly, with Stanbic IBTC EZ Cash, customers can access loans of up to N7.5 million via the bank’s USSD code *909*44#, the My Bank Module of the Stanbic IBTC Mobile App and the bank’s online banking portal. Customers can access loans quickly and conveniently with up to 48 months of repayment, depending on the loan type.

“The Stanbic IBTC Digital Loans, which are available via our Super App, our website, our *909# USSD service and Internet Banking, help alleviate some of the challenges individuals experience in meeting urgent financial needs.

“The loans are available to both new and existing customers of Stanbic IBTC and are geared towards helping customers meet their financial obligations at any time, no matter the urgency,” he stated.

“Customers, through the Stanbic IBTC Device Financing solution, can acquire new mobile devices from MTN partner stores and enjoy additional benefits such as 4GB data, 100 minutes talk time monthly and insurance against loss and screen damage,” Mr Adeniyi added.

He assured that the company would continue to design financial solutions that will meet the needs and enhance the financial growth of its esteemed customers.

“With economic empowerment as a core pillar of our corporate social investment initiatives, we remain committed to ensuring not only the growth of our customers but also their business activities,” Mr Adeniyi concluded.

It was gathered that the funding packages were designed by Stanbic IBTC as part of efforts to assist Nigerians with financing and also to address the challenges facing individuals in accessing finance.

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Banking

Ecobank Named Best Trade Finance Bank in West Africa

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Ecobank Nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya

Ecobank has been named the Best Trade Finance Bank in West Africa at the prestigious Global Trade Review’s Leaders in Trade awards held in London last month.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the lender announced that the award comes as recognition of its solutions for domestic and regional supply chain financing across key trade corridors as well as the bank’s arranger roles and participation in key soft commodities campaign financing across West Africa, notably covering cotton, cacao, soya beans and cashew nuts.

Ecobank’s offerings are supplemented by its state-of-the-art E-trade module under the Omni Plus platform and its products are positioned to support both Corporate and Investment Banking and SME customers in leveraging on the African Continental Free Trade Area’s opportunities and growing intra-African trade.

The judges also recognized Ecobank’s Trade Services solutions, which led the bank to command significant market share on Letters of Credit across the continent, leveraging on its Paris-based affiliate, Ecobank International, for confirmations, payments, and discounts.

Commenting on the recognition, Mr Souleymane Diagne, Group Head, Trade Finance, Ecobank, said: “As a Pan-African bank with the largest footprint across the continent, a major ambition of Ecobank is to be the preferred trade bank for SMEs and corporates across Africa. We are committed to enabling them to take advantage of the immense growth opportunities fostered by the game-changing African Continental Free Trade Area.

“This accolade from Global Trade Review provides welcome recognition of the impact we are making through our suite of trade products and solutions, which include Structured Trade and Commodity Finance, Trade Services and Supply Chain Finance.

“For our customers and partners in West Africa and throughout sub-Saharan Africa, we are resolved to continue delivering value through our trade and multi-currency payments solutions, leveraging on our African expertise and our network’s advantage.”

Ecobank works closely with clients and leverages partners within and outside Africa in reviewing key aspects of transaction dynamics, including settlement, financing, risk mitigation, credit enhancement, syndications and applicable regulations.

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