By Dipo Olowookere
There have been many testimonies from holders of accounts in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) that the *737* mobile banking code has taken financial transactions to another level.
The initiative by GTBank has been applauded by many because they say it has exceeded customers’ expectation.
The *737* is a mobile channel, which enables the bank’s customers to conveniently perform third party transfers to both GTBank and other bank account holders in Nigeria via mobile phones.
This is done by dialling the right code with details of the amount and account number of the beneficiary, writes
Mobile payment is where the world is heading. Financial institutions with foresight on the future are redefining their commitment to electronic payment, churning out products and services to serve customers better.
GTBank, it is the right way to serve the customers better. The lender unveiled the Bank *737* platform to help deepen its mobile banking, to strengthen its leadership potentials in the mobile banking space.
Also for GTBank, Bank *737* is just a creativity that emerged out of the box. It is an expression of outstanding intuition, which only very few brilliant innovators can attempt. It is also one of the benefits of the cash-less banking, which was one of the biggest news that hit the sector in January 2012.
The objective, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said, was to change the cash-driven economy and reduce the rising cost of banking operations. The policy is also designed to promote financial intermediation, financial inclusion, minimise revenue leakages, eliminate robbery and encourage e-payment.
The coming of cashless financial system has indeed, given great opportunities to institutions that possess the innovative instincts to break the bricks. Ordinarily, one would not imagine that financial transactions could be done without one inching close to any banking hall.
GTBank’s Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr Segun Agbaje, has consistently told the bank’s customers that Bank *737* is an innovation whose time has come. He was not joking when he told his customers that people might not have any need to go into the banking halls for anything, anymore because they can stay in the comfort of their homes and carry out banking transactions.
To the bank chief, when the electricity challenges are finally settled, more would come in the way of innovation and that is the time a full classification of the efficiency of the core financial institutions would be known.
The current bubble that greeted the fortunes of the bank could not be unrelated to the level of innovation that has trailed the bank’s creativity over the years, like ‘licensing’ a new bank, which runs on phones.
That was why Mr Agbaje could stand up anywhere and tell a motley crowd of GTBank stakeholders that their bank would make a whopping N125 billion profit after tax, some N30 billion higher than its current record, in its 2016 financial activities without fuss.
The bank, which prides itself as not really affected by the backlash of the Treasury Single Account policy (TSA), is greatly optimistic that it has not been a public sector bank and would continue to innovate to find a flourishing middle ground for its more than seven million customers in the country.
He described the 2015 financial year as really a very bad year, “a very difficult year, Credit Rediscount Rate(CRR) went up to 34 per cent, Commission on Turnover (COT) was totally down and forex got so bad. “We are creating a bank where you do not come into the bank to do anything. We are leveraging technology to take people out of the banking hall.
“You are going to do most of your banking activities today without coming to the banking hall. We cannot achieve inclusive banking by building more branches, but by providing more enabling platforms to get people do more, and that is where banking is going,” Mr Agbaje said.
While pouring encomium on his staff, the CEO explained that his bank is not excited about any form of merger and acquisition as his bank has planned to grow organically.
He saw a lot that could be done to attain the desired height even as he would want the bank to do any good business that could add good value to the economy.
He also saw agriculture as a sector that needed a lot of push, but was quick to indicate that agriculture loan books did not grow fast even as the medieval industry remained key to the growth of the economy. There is no doubt that Mr Agbaje is an apostle of gradual and careful growth.
With his bank’s current financial report, Mr Agbaje looks good to keep the best result among all the banks for the 2015 year, considering the fact that banks whose business prospects look as good as that of GTBank may have reported far less performance for the period. This explains the progressive plan of the bank to remain on top as the most profitable bank within the period in review.
With a gross income rolling over N300 billion, there are clear indications that the careful spending pattern the bank has adopted will further offer it some more profit advantage. This may even grow in double digits as its new IT platform will usher a new cost-cutting mechanism, as less emphasis on new branches can really add up as new gains.
Mr Agbaje feels that the internet and telephone banking platforms are becoming very successful. A good size of the youth, according to him, is in it and they are enjoying the blitz.