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Standard Chartered Bank Launches Digital Bank, Hires Drogba

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Standard Chartered Bank Launches Digital Bank, Hires Drogba

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

One of the leading international banking groups in Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, has launched its digital bank in Côte d’Ivoire.

The official launch of the digital bank was attended by top executives of the lender as well as senior government officials in Côte d’Ivoire, including the Minister of Information Technologies and Communication, Mr. Bruno Nabagné Kone, and sporting legend and Ivorian icon, Mr Didier Drogba.

Speaking during the ceremony, the bank’s Regional CEO for Africa and Middle East, Mr Sunil Kaushal, stated that, “We are pleased to launch our first digital bank in Africa with the support of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire.

“This is a key milestone on our digital journey as a Bank and underlines our commitment to investing and growing in the market.

“We have been steadily investing in expanding our footprint in Africa over the years, and this will continue to be a priority moving forward.

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“Digitising Africa remains at the heart of our business strategy for the region, and we look to implement our Côte d’Ivoire model across other markets in the coming months.”

Also, Jaydeep Gupta, Regional Head of Retail Banking, Africa & Middle East, said, “Our new digital bank was developed with our clients in mind. We have taken into consideration the feedback received by our clients at each stage of the design process and have incorporated innovative technology to allow them to execute all banking activities from a mobile device. This includes 70 banking services through the app.”

“In addition, for the first time, the client onboarding journey has been digitised and in under 15 minutes a client can open a new account through the app.

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“What has also been introduced is the ability for clients to track and trace a request submitted, which is a first for Standard Chartered. This is something we are very proud of.”

Furthermore, Isaac Foly, Chief Executive Officer, Côte d’Ivoire, said, “I’m pleased to have launched the bank’s first digital retail bank in Côte d’Ivoire and proud to see the progress the country has made over the past decade.

“We have seen how digital transformation has contributed to economic development and will continue to do so, in line with the country’s National Development Plan.

“Our partnership with Didier Drogba has helped raise awareness, not only for our digital offering, but for enhancing financial literacy and improving accessibility to financial services across Côte d’Ivoire.

“Promoting the social and economic wellbeing of communities is a key component of our strategy to support sustainable development and our digital bank is certainly another step in the right direction.”

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On his part, Mr Didier Drogba, who was hired as the bank’s Digital Ambassador, shared his experience on the ease of opening an account using his mobile phone. He was the first person in Côte d’Ivoire to open a digital account with Standard Chartered Bank.

The bank’s digital services are available by downloading the Standard Chartered mobile application. New clients can execute all of their banking activities right from their mobile devices, starting by opening their bank account in less than 15 minutes. They can also provide all verification documents by uploading to the application and fully complete their onboarding process within minutes.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Banking

FSDH Merchant Bank Sells N23.6bn Commercial Paper

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FSDH Merchant Bank

By Dipo Olowookere

Commercial paper worth N23.6 billion is to be raised by FSDH Merchant Bank Limited for its short-term working capital requirements and other general corporate purposes.

The note is being floated by the financial institution under its N40.0 billion commercial paper programme, Business Post gathered.

The sale of the N23.6 billion is being offered by FSDH in three series, series 3, 4 and 5, according to details of the issuance seen by this newspaper.

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Subscriptions for the commercial paper commenced on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, and is expected to wrap up on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, but this is expected to be extended because of the two-day public holiday declared by the federal government on Tuesday and Wednesday for Eid-el-Kabir.

The series 3 CP is with a maturity of 116 days, with a coupon rate of 8.74 per cent, the series 4 note comes with a 188-day tenor with a coupon rate of 11.10 per cent, while the series 5 paper comes with a 270-day maturity and a coupon rate of 11.65 per cent.

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A commercial paper is an unsecured, short-term debt instrument issued for the financing of accounts payable and inventories and meeting short-term liabilities.

Maturities on commercial paper rarely range longer than 270 days and are usually issued at a discount from face value and reflects prevailing market interest rates.

FSDH, a subsidiary of FSDH Holding Company, which started as the first discount house in Nigeria in 1993, transformed into a merchant bank in 2012 after it received approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

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The firm offers services such as cash management, wealth management, risk management, financing and advisory.

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Banking

Ecobank Begins Zero Transaction Fee on Rapidtransfer

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Rapidtransfer App

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The management of Ecobank Nigeria led by Mr Patrick Akinwuntan has said transactions carried out on its money transfer app, Rapidtransfer, would be free of charge for four months.

A statement issued by the lender disclosed that this zero transaction fee on Rapidtransfer is to celebrate this year’s National Diaspora Day fixed for July 25. The day is set aside by the federal government to celebrate Nigerians in the diaspora in recognition of their contributions towards the development of their homeland.

Mr Akinwuntan said Nigerians in the diaspora contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country, lauding the decision of the government to celebrate them, noting that the recent launch of the National Diaspora Policy (NDP) by the government would further promote and harness the resources and capacity of Nigerians in the diaspora towards national development.

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“As a pan-African institution positioned to foster the economic growth and integration of our continent, we are particularly pleased to work closely with NiDCOM, ably led by the Chairman/CEO, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa towards the engagement of Nigerians in the diaspora on policies, projects and other initiatives geared at developing the nation.

“From our constant engagement with Nigerians in the Diaspora, we understand their peculiar needs and have created tailor-made solutions to serve them effectively,” the banker said.

He noted further that Ecobank has partnered NiDCOM on webinars, diaspora quarterly lecture series and will continue to seek other collaboration opportunities to deepen engagement with the diaspora community.

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Also speaking, the Head of Consumer Banking at Ecobank Nigeria, Mrs Korede Demola-Adeniyi, said Ecobank will apply zero fees to all Rapidtransfer transactions from July 1 to October 31, 2021, thereby enabling Nigerians living abroad to send money to their loved ones affordably.

According to her, the decision to waive charges underscores the bank’s commitment to helping Nigerians abroad remit money home without placing an additional burden of charges on them, especially at this period of global economic downturn.

Rapidtransfer is Ecobank’s proprietary money transfer service which enables users send funds across borders, affordably and instantly.

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The banking app is available for use by Ecobank and non-Ecobank customers. Remittances can be received directly into the recipient’s account or as cash at any Ecobank branch.

Beneficiaries who wish to receive funds into an account but do not have domiciliary accounts have the opportunity to open in Euro, GBP or USD instantly and enjoy all the benefits that come with Ecobank foreign currency accounts.

In addition, N5 is paid on every one dollar received as cash or direct to account in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ongoing Naira for Dollar initiative.

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Banking

Fidelity Bank, Linda Ikeji Plan Platform to Empower Women

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Linda Ikeji Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe empower women

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Efforts are being made by Fidelity Bank Plc and Linda Ikeji Blog (LIB) TV to create a long-term platform aimed to educate, support and empower women entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

Last week, the CEO of LIB TV, Ms Linda Ikeji, was at the head office of Fidelity Bank in Lagos on a courtesy call to the CEO of the financial institution, Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe.

During the visit, the duo not only explored business opportunities but discussed ways to lend their voice to the ongoing conversation about women empowerment.

The two beautiful amazons and consummate professionals in their respective fields of endeavour (banking and media) agreed that one of the best ways to develop the nation was to provide an avenue for women to thrive.

“Through strategic collaborations, we can set up a forum for young aspiring entrepreneurs to have a one-on-one interaction with successful career women in Fidelity Bank. This will provide them with the opportunity to ask questions and share their experiences,” Ms Ikeji said.

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The media guru, while speaking on the importance of innovation in entrepreneurship, encouraged budding female entrepreneurs to stay ahead of their time by conducting research and identifying the needs of consumers.

She praised Fidelity Bank for organising women empowerment programmes, explaining that more Nigerian women need such platforms for motivation whilst believing that there is no limit to what they can achieve.

Ms Ikeji also used the occasion to express her confidence in management’s capacity to impact positively on the growth and development of women-owned businesses in Nigeria.

In her remarks, Mrs Onyeali-Ikpe, who was surrounded by top female management staff, applauded her guest’s efforts to empower young women, alluding to her 2017 initiative, which saw her tour secondary schools across the country teaching young girls about entrepreneurship. She expressed the willingness of the bank to collaborate with LIB TV for the betterment of female entrepreneurs.

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The bank chief also used the opportunity to provide a detailed insight into her seven-point agenda, which is part of plans to ensure the bank achieves Tier-One status in Nigeria by 2025.

Speaking about the bank’s efforts to positively influence women in business, the Fidelity Bank boss stated that the company’s long-standing support for the growth of women-owned businesses in Nigeria stems from its recognition of women’s ability to effectively control the hem of affairs in business.

Whilst reiterating the bank’s passion for women empowerment, she said the lender has put in place necessary measures to improve gender equality and assist women in the bank’s workforce thrive effortlessly on the job.

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One of these, she said, is the creation of a conducive workspace for all women by building a crèche for Fidelity women to enable them to take care of their children.

“Fidelity Bank is very concerned about the convenience of women in the workforce and I encourage that every work environment with mothers should have a crèche. We have just built a child-friendly environment and it would be unveiled very soon,” she said.

On a final note, Mrs Onyeali-Ikpe noted that female business owners and professionals must make it a point of duty to be consistent and tenacious to succeed in business.

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