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Enjoying Banking Convenience With FirstBank’s Firstmobile

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FirstBank Headquarter - Investors King

As the world is evolving digitally, Nigerian banks are currently looking for ways to make the banking experience better and FirstBank is not an exception to this aggressive drive. The efforts in this regard include building and constantly improving on its product offerings like the FirstMobile, its industry-leading mobile banking app; FirstOnline, the internet banking portal and many other platforms provided by the Bank to ensure banking operations are performed with ease and convenience without having to be physically present at the bank.

In line with its commitment to offer these value-added products and services that suit the lifestyles of its customers, Nigeria’s most valuable bank brand, has one of the best bank Apps anywhere. FirstMobile is the official mobile banking application from FirstBank and it provides convenient access to both financial and non-financial transactions by FirstBank account holders via their mobile devices. It is sleek and convenient to use – evident in its easy enrolment process as all FirstBank customers with Verve and Naira MasterCards can begin using the App without having cause to visit a FirstBank branch. It is also poised to offer a more reliable and more convenient overall digital banking experience.

With FirstMobile, customers can enjoy real-time mobile banking services such as domestic funds transfer from self-owned accounts to other FirstBank accounts and other external bank accounts; QR payments, as well as make quick airtime purchases for self and others on all mobile networks (which can be done directly by selecting phone numbers from their phone contacts); bills payments; cheque services including confirm cheque and stop cheque, flight and cinema booking; and quick account services such as account balance inquiry, statement view, Virtual Card, Limit enhancement up to 10M & Airtime top-up limit up to 50,000. FirstMobile also offers Debit card enablement for usage abroad.

In addition, the lifestyle banking app offers FirstBank customers unique access to the latest articles and videos across a wide variety of categories, including technology and gadgets, life and travel, the economy, local news, luxury goods, business, health, sports, entertainment, shopping and more. The application is free and available for download to customers of FirstBank.

FirstMobile remains yet another obvious step towards leveraging evolving technologies to bring fast and convenient financial services closer to Nigerians, in line with the bank’s digital banking strategy.

With its efficiency, the Bank has delivered an app that has, over the years, consistently shown to support the consumer lifestyle by providing users with an instant suite of financial options on their mobile devices in a convenient and highly secure way.

As of June 2021, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the most renowned Bank in Nigeria boasts  4,596,203 users on the FirstMobile App which is a 9% growth of the total users in the previous year and an average of 27,730,830 transactions every month. With such large patronage from its over 30 million customer base, the need to always create an easy way for customers to conduct financial transactions comes into play and impressively, a dedicated platform that allows FirstBank customers to conveniently make transactions with their mobile phones, Tablets and Pc is always within customers’ fingertips.

FirstMobile is also embedded with a card protection service for customers to enable and disable cards on channels, account switch off as well as second-factor authentication and device registration. Customers can remotely initiate the request for a new debit card as well as the replacement of a lost or damaged one, whilst managing activities on their card and account.

FirstMobile takes into cognizance the security of customers and their funds. The biometric for transactions is an innovative security upgrade on the application to validate transactions. This feature includes fingerprint for transactions, allowing the customer to use his or her fingerprint to consummate all transactions. Other features of the FirstMobile App include frequent transactions; dashboard flexibility and personalisation.

Customers can also take a photo or select from the Avatar (available icons) to personalize their dashboard and beneficiaries for Transfers, Bills payment & Airtime transactions by uploading a picture to associate with their beneficiary, especially the more frequent ones. The dashboard has been designed to reflect the lifestyle and social pattern of the user as it can be customized by adding any profile picture of choice. The dashboard also enables users to monitor their spending patterns over a period. It shows the inflow and outflow of funds on their account. With FirstMobile, you can book movie tickets ahead of time, thereby averting the risk of being told the movie is sold-out upon getting to the movie theatre.

In need of a loan to meet that pressing need, FirstMobile also has you covered and puts you at an advantage with the FirstAdvance, a product designed to offer convenient and easy access to cash for payroll customers awaiting payment of their salaries and also Nano Loan features. It is indeed an overall exciting App that ensures financial happiness.

To set up the FirstMobile App, customers with android phones should visit the Google Play store to download and install the FirstMobile app. Customers with Apple devices can download it from the Apple Store. Once installed, customers are required to open the app, tap the REGISTER button and use their FirstBank issued Naira MasterCard or Verve card to activate the app. After details have been inputted, an OTP code will be sent via an SMS to your phone number that is linked to your bank account and you are then required to Input a 5 digits code that will be your login password, Select two security questions and answer them, Create a personalised 4 digits transaction pin that will help your confirm transactions. Click Done and start enjoying the app.

FirstMobile is built to reflect FirstBank’s resolve at reinforcing the digitisation of payment systems, whilst putting customers at an edge to conveniently meet their everyday needs at any time, irrespective of where they are.

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Banking Sector

Adaora Umeoji Highlights Zenith Bank’s Robust Financial Metrics: Says Bank is Poised to Cross The N1 Trillion Mark in Profit in 2024

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Adaora Umeoji

Zenith Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading financial institution, held its Capital Markets Day last week to showcase the bank’s inherent values as it embarks on its recapitalisation journey.

The event, which brought together key market players, focused on the bank’s growth trajectory, strategic objectives, market performance, and consistent, robust dividend payout over the years.

It also provided an opportunity for the bank to inform capital market stakeholders about its robust risk management culture, adherence to regulations, capital adequacy, and maintenance of low non-performing loan levels.

Addressing capital market stakeholders, investors, and analysts at the event in Lagos, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Dame Dr Adaora Umeoji, highlighted the financial institution’s tier-1 capital of N1.8 trillion, shareholders’ funds of N2.3 trillion, market capitalisation of N1.3 trillion, a profit before tax of N796 billion, and a dividend of N4 per share for the year ended December 2023.

Providing guidance for 2024, she noted that, given the trend of the bank’s performance and having achieved a profit before tax of N796 billion in 2023 and N320 billion in the first quarter of 2024, the bank is on track to deliver over N1 trillion in profit before tax in 2024.

She expressed confidence that, with the quality of the board and management and a strong corporate culture, the bank is well-positioned to deliver superior value to investors and other stakeholders and to navigate the recapitalisation process successfully.

She also disclosed some of the bank’s future plans, which include driving financial inclusion, expanding corporate and retail banking through technology and other state-of-the-art digital platforms, and establishing a fintech subsidiary, ZenPay, to drive profitability.

Also, the bank intends to expand to France and other Francophone African countries.

Dr Umeoji explained, “For us at Zenith, we won’t be left out. We are planning to go to the market to raise capital, and as it stands, Zenith Bank has the least amount of capital to raise. We are looking to raise N230 billion because we are already at N270.7 billion.

That is the least capital to raise among our peers. We believe that Zenith Bank has what it takes. We have the capacity, the network, the balance sheet, the human capital, and the track record to achieve that.

We are planning for the future, and the technology we have now is the best in the entire industry. It will help us to have a seamless process and integrate.”

Also speaking, the Chief Financial Officer/General Manager, Dr Mukhtar Adam, pointed out that in the last five years, the bank’s Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) in revenue has grown by over 27 per cent.

“This continues to grow year-on-year. Within this period, at some point, Nigeria went into recession, but we forged ahead, worked very hard, and continued to deliver growth. Within the last five years, our profit before tax has also grown cumulatively by about 28 per cent. This is a market where, at some point, government instruments – treasury bills – were paying one per cent, two per cent, three per cent. But we forged ahead to grow the numbers and provide stable returns of at least 28 per cent.”

Zenith Bank recently emerged as the Best Commercial Bank, Nigeria, in the World Finance Banking Awards 2024, retaining the award for the fourth consecutive year.

The bank was also named Best Corporate Governance, Nigeria, for the third year running in the World Finance Corporate Governance Awards 2024.

The awards, published in the Summer 2024 issue of World Finance Magazine, recognise the bank’s robust financial performance, superior customer service, sustainability initiatives, and corporate governance practices.

Commenting on the dual honours, Dr. Umeoji said, “These awards highlight our steadfast dedication to excellence, adherence to global best practices, and our persistent effort to deliver superior value to all stakeholders through innovative products and services. Receiving these awards consecutively for multiple years signifies the commitment of our staff, the loyalty of our customers, and the support of our shareholders. We remain devoted to setting industry benchmarks and driving excellence across all aspects of our operations.”

Dr. Umeoji also expressed delight at the recognition and dedicated the awards to the Founder and Chairman, Dr. Jim Ovia, CFR, for his impactful leadership in establishing a robust and flourishing institution.

She also expressed gratitude to the board for their vision and insight, the staff for their unwavering dedication, and the bank’s customers for choosing Zenith as their preferred bank. World Finance is a leading international magazine providing comprehensive coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business, and the global economy.

In its audited results for the year ended December 31, 2023, Zenith Bank achieved a remarkable triple-digit growth of 125 per cent in gross earnings, from N945.6 billion reported in 2022 to N2.132 trillion in 2023.

The impressive growth in gross earnings resulted in a year-on-year increase of 180 per cent in profit before tax (PBT), from N284.7 billion in 2022 to N796 billion in 2023, while profit after tax (PAT) also recorded triple-digit growth of 202 per cent, from N223.9 billion to N676.9 billion for the period ended December 31, 2023.

The increase in gross earnings was primarily due to growth in interest and non-interest income. Specifically, its interest income increased by 112 per cent, from N540 billion in 2022 to N1.1 trillion in 2023, while non-interest income grew by 141 per cent, from N381 billion to N918.9 billion in the same period.

The rise in interest income was attributed to the growth in the size of risk assets and their effective repricing, alongside the increase in yield of other interest-bearing instruments over the year. Growth in non-interest income was driven by significant trading gains and an increase in gains from the revaluation of foreign currencies.

Zenith Bank’s cost of funds also grew from 1.9 per cent in 2022 to three per cent in 2023 due to the high interest rate environment, while interest expense increased by 135 per cent, from N173.5 billion in 2022 to N408.5 billion in 2023.

Notwithstanding the 32 per cent growth in operating expenses in 2023, the Group’s cost-to-income ratio improved significantly from 54.4 per cent in 2022 to 36.1 per cent in 2023 due to improved top-line performance.

Return on Average Equity (ROAE) increased by 118 per cent, from 16.8 per cent in 2022 to 36.6 per cent in 2023, underpinned by improved gross earnings, as the Group sought to deliver better shareholder returns. Return on Average Assets (ROAA) also grew by 95 per cent, from 2.1 per cent to 4.1 per cent in the same period.

Zenith Bank was established in May 1990 and commenced operations in July of the same year as a commercial bank.

The bank became a public limited company on June 17, 2004, and was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on October 21, 2004, following a highly successful Initial Public Offering (IPO). In 2013, the bank listed $850 million worth of its shares at $6.80 each on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, Zenith Bank Plc has more than 400 branches and business offices in prime commercial centres across all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Zenith Bank Plc, founded by Jim Ovia, CFR, in 1990, has since grown to become one of the leading financial institutions in Africa. The underlying philosophy is for the bank to remain a customer-centric institution with a clear understanding of its market and environment.

Zenith Bank’s track record of excellent performance has continued to earn the brand numerous awards.

These latest accolades follow several recognitions, including being recognised as the Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital for the 14th consecutive year in the 2023 Top 1000 World Banks Ranking, published by The Banker Magazine; Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards for 2020 and 2022; and Most Sustainable Bank, Nigeria, in the International Banker 2024 Banking Awards, among several others.

Zenith Bank Plc has blazed the trail in digital banking in Nigeria, achieving several firsts in the deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to create innovative products that meet the needs of its customers.

The bank is a leader in the deployment of various channels of banking technology, and the Zenith brand has become synonymous with state-of-the-art technologies in banking.

Driven by a culture of excellence and strict adherence to global best practices, the bank has combined vision, skilful banking expertise, and cutting-edge technology to create products and services that anticipate and meet customers’ expectations, enable businesses to thrive, and grow wealth for customers.

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Banking Sector

Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc Offers 9 Billion New Ordinary Shares

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GTBank -Investors King

Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (GTCO) has announced a new offering of 9,000,000,000 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each.

This strategic move aims to recapitalize its Nigerian banking subsidiary and expand the group’s footprint in the pension fund administration and asset management sectors.

Details of the Offering:

Issuer: Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc
Lead Issuing House: Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited
Joint Issuing Houses: Absa Capital Markets Nigeria Limited, FCMB Capital Markets Limited, and Vetiva Advisory Services Limited
Offer Price: ₦44.50 per Offer Share
Total Share Capital: ₦14,715,589,612, divided into 29,431,179,224 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each

Purpose of the Offering:

After deducting the costs and expenses of the offer, estimated at ₦8,010,000,000 (2% of gross proceeds), the net proceeds of ₦392,490,000,000 will be allocated as follows:

  1. Recapitalisation of GTBank Nigeria: ₦370 billion (94.3% of net proceeds) with an estimated completion period of six months.
  2. Growth and Expansion of the Group: ₦22.49 billion (5.7% of net proceeds) for acquisitions in pension fund administration and asset management businesses, with an estimated completion period of 24 months.

Offer Structure and Allocation:

The offer, structured as an Offer for Subscription, will be split equally between institutional investors and retail investors, with each group allocated 4,500,000,000 shares. The issuer retains the right to adjust this allocation based on demand from each investor class.

Key Dates:

  • Opening Date: Monday, 15 July 2024
  • Closing Date: Monday, 12 August 2024

Subscription and Payment:

The minimum subscription is set at 100 Offer Shares, with multiples of 10 thereafter. Payment is required in full upon application.

Market Capitalisation:

  • Pre-Offer Market Capitalisation: ₦1,309,687,475,468
  • Post-Offer Market Capitalisation (assuming full subscription): ₦1,710,187,475,468

Listing and Quotation:

GTCO’s entire issued and paid-up share capital is listed on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX). An application has been submitted to the NGX Board for the listing of the new shares.

Allotment and Status:

The new ordinary shares will rank equally with the existing shares. The allotment will follow SEC rules, ensuring all investors receive the minimum application in full, with any remaining balance allotted according to the determined allocation split.

This offering represents a significant step for GTCO in strengthening its financial base and expanding its business operations, reflecting the company’s commitment to sustained growth and value creation for its shareholders.

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Banking Sector

Central Bank Excludes Bureau De Change in Latest $122.67M Forex Allocation

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U.S dollar - Investors King

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has excluded Bureau De Change (BDC) operators from its latest allocation of $122.67 million in forex sales.

This decision, announced by Aminu Gwadebe, President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria, shows the CBN’s evolving strategy towards a more controlled and stable forex environment.

The CBN’s allocation, disclosed in a statement signed by Dr. Omolara Duke, Director in charge of Financial Markets, specified that the forex sales were made exclusively to 46 authorized dealers, predominantly banks.

This is a continuation of the CBN’s recent trend of sidelining BDC operators, a practice that began in March of this year.

In an interview, Gwadebe explained the exclusion as part of the CBN’s usual intervention at the NAFEM window, which currently only includes banks.

He noted, “The BDC window has been suspended by the Central Bank of Nigeria since around March or so. The last time we were funded, I think, was around March.”

This shift reflects the apex bank’s intent to reduce market volatility and enhance the efficiency of forex distribution.

The exclusion of BDCs from the forex sales has already impacted the market. The naira depreciated further to N1,554/$ at the official market on Thursday.

The CBN’s strategy aims to centralize forex sales through banks, thereby tightening control over the distribution and use of foreign currency.

The CBN’s recent allocation occurred over two days. On Wednesday, the apex bank sold $67.5 million to 27 authorized dealers while purchasing $2.5 million from one authorized dealer.

The bid range for these transactions was between N1,480/$1 and N1,500/$1, with payments scheduled for July 12, 2024.

On Thursday, the bank sold $55.17 million to 19 authorized dealers at a rate of N1,540/$1, with payments due on July 15, 2024.

The CBN emphasized that all forex purchases by authorized dealers must be used exclusively for trade-backed transactions, which must be reported within 72 hours.

This directive aims to ensure the effective use of foreign exchange and prevent market abuses.

The latest forex sales come when Nigeria’s external reserves have seen a positive increase to $35.05 billion as of July 8, 2024.

This is the first time the reserves have crossed the $35 billion threshold under President Bola Tinubu’s administration, reflecting a cautiously optimistic outlook for the nation’s economic stability.

However, the exclusion of BDC operators from the forex sales has raised concerns among stakeholders about the long-term implications for the forex market and the availability of foreign currency for small and medium-sized enterprises that rely on BDCs for their forex needs.

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