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FirstBank Introduces The First Humanoid Robot, Reinforces Its Commitment to Providing Innovative Financial Solutions For Customers

o FirstBank has launched an industry first Humanoid Robot at its Adetokunbo Ademola VI, Lagos Digital Experience Centre (DXC) Branch
o The robot is among the phased configuration of the bank’s state-of-the-art digitally led self-service branch
o The Humanoid Robot is equipped with Video Banking and Artificial Intelligence (AI), taking on the role of a friendly branch staff.

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FirstBank Headquarter - Investors King

In furtherance to its leading role in providing innovative financial solutions in Nigeria, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier financial institution and leading financial inclusion services provider, has announced the launch of a Humanoid Robot, the first of its kind in the financial services space in Nigeria.

The robot is equipped with Video Banking and Artificial Intelligence (AI), taking on the role of friendly branch staff.

FirstBank Robot

The Humanoid Robot can engage customers in conversations as well as through a touch screen strapped to his chest. The services performed by the robot include responding to customer enquiries on cash deposits, withdrawals and ATM cards.

The robot also aids complaint management as customers can log a complaint via QR with feedback generated within the advised time.

The Humanoid Robot also keeps customers up to date with happenings about the Bank, including products launch and upgrades designed to strengthen the customer experience and satisfaction. The robot is a one-stop point to keep customers informed about the Bank. It also effectively manages customers’ accounts.

Expressing his delight at the initiative, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, the CEO of FirstBank Group noted that “the addition of the Humanoid Robot to our state-of-the-art Digital Experience Centre represents a purposeful stride towards transforming the banking landscape in the country and further showcases the priority we give to innovation within the Bank.

With its advanced capabilities, the robot is designed to elevate the quality of our customers’ lives in today’s rapidly evolving digital world. Our unwavering dedication to delivering unparalleled banking services remains steadfast, as we leave no stone unturned in innovating to fulfil our customer’s needs.” he concluded.

The introduction of the Humanoid Robot is among the phased configuration of the Bank’s state-of-the-art digitally led self-service branch called Digital Experience Centre, launched in December 2021.

Another Humanoid Robot will also be deployed in the Bank’s next and second Digital Experience Centre, soon to be announced in the coming months.

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Fintech

Flutterwave Celebrates Inclusion in CNBC’s Top 250 Global Fintechs

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Flutterwave has been recognized as one of the Top 250 Fintech companies globally by CNBC and Statista.

Joining the ranks of industry giants like Ali Pay, Klarna, Piggyvest, and Mastercard, this accolade underscores Flutterwave’s impact on the financial technology sector.

This honor follows Flutterwave’s recent inclusion in Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list, highlighting the company’s pivotal role in transforming Africa’s payment landscape.

The recognition is a testament to Flutterwave’s dedication to innovation and excellence in providing seamless payment solutions across the continent.

Expressing gratitude, Flutterwave acknowledged its talented team, supportive board, reliable partners, and loyal customers for contributing to this success.

The company continues to drive progress in the fintech industry, reinforcing its commitment to enhancing financial accessibility and inclusion in Africa and beyond.

Flutterwave’s recognition on these prestigious lists marks a proud moment and a significant milestone in its journey, reflecting the company’s growing influence and leadership in the global fintech arena.

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Startups

Google Leads $250 Million Funding Round for Glance

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A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich

Google is leading a $250 million funding round for Glance, a mobile content provider.

This infusion of capital aims to expand Glance’s reach and solidify its market position amidst growing competition.

Glance, a subsidiary of InMobi Group, offers a unique service that delivers news, entertainment, and other content directly to users’ mobile screens without unlocking their devices.

With a user base exceeding 300 million across India, the US, Japan, and Indonesia, the startup has gained significant traction since its inception in 2019.

The funding round, expected to close in the coming weeks, marks a continued partnership between Google and Glance.

Google initially invested in the company in 2020, and this latest round will further enhance Glance’s capabilities to innovate and reach new audiences.

This investment reflects Google’s strategic interest in India, the world’s most populous nation, where it competes with tech giants like Microsoft, Meta, and Amazon.

With India’s rapidly growing middle class and increasing smartphone adoption, the market presents vast opportunities for digital expansion.

The support from Google comes on the heels of a previous $200 million investment by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s wealthiest individual, which valued Glance at over $1 billion.

The startup’s largest stakeholder, InMobi, continues to thrive as a pioneer in mobile advertising, with Glance benefiting from its expertise and resources.

As Glance prepares for this new phase of growth, it stands poised to redefine how content is consumed on mobile devices worldwide.

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Technology

Cyber Threats Surge as Nigeria’s Digital Economy Expands

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cybercrime - Investors King

As Nigeria’s digital economy flourishes, it faces escalating cyber threats, prompting the Federal Government to issue 33 cyberattack advisories in the past year.

These warnings, issued by the Nigeria Computer and Emergency Response Team (ngCERT), highlight the growing vulnerability of the nation’s digital infrastructure.

Since July 2023, ngCERT has alerted Nigerians to new attack methods and vulnerabilities. With 22 advisories issued in 2024 alone, the surge in cyberattacks coincides with the accelerated digitization spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monthly internet usage in Nigeria soared from 125,149.86 terabytes in December 2019 to 753,388.77 terabytes in March 2024.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) notes that increased digitalization has heightened cybersecurity risks, necessitating robust protective measures.

According to Check Point Research, Nigerian businesses face approximately 2,308 attacks weekly across all sectors.

The advisories reveal various cyber threats, including ransomware and banking trojans. A recent warning highlighted Grandoreiro, a malware targeting over 1,500 banks globally, affecting 41 banking applications in Nigeria alone.

These attacks aim to steal sensitive financial data, potentially causing significant financial losses.

Nigeria’s critical infrastructure is also under threat. In August, pro-Nigerien hackers attempted to disrupt MTN Nigeria’s network, although they were unsuccessful.

During the 2023 elections, the government recorded 12.99 million cyberattacks, underscoring the scale of the threat.

Cybercrime costs Nigeria about $500 million annually. This includes data damage, stolen money, lost productivity, and post-attack disruptions.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation ranked Nigeria as the 16th country worst affected by cybercrime in 2020.

Experts emphasize the need for stronger cybersecurity measures. Adesina Sodiya, a professor of Computer Science and Information Security, warns that cyberattacks will continue to grow in sophistication.

He stresses the importance of building a cybersecurity curriculum and involving experts in creating effective strategies.

In response, NITDA plans to reduce cyberattacks by 40% by 2027. “As we digitize, we must build with security in mind,” said Kashifu Inuwa, director-general of NITDA.

The agency aims to implement comprehensive strategies to protect Nigeria’s burgeoning digital economy.

As Nigeria’s digital economy expands, it must address the growing cyber threats that accompany this progress. By enhancing cybersecurity measures and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, Nigeria can safeguard its digital future.

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