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Wednesday , 13 December 2017

e-payment products places Zenith slightly ahead GTbank -Report

Two Nigerian tier 1 banks- Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc and Zenith Bank International Plc, have become too cheap to ignore by any value-minded investor.

The comparative analysis between Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) and Zenith Bank Plc reveals that both financial institutions are consistent with their tradition of good performance and rewarding investors.

Just 25 years after they were established, both Zenith and Guaranty Trust Banks have running nect to neck in a somewhat subtle contest for the leadership position of the banking industry in Nigeria.

The reports outlined that GTBank and Zenith Bank stand the chance to weather Nigeria’s tough operating environment, especially in the aftermath of devaluation of Naira, because they are adequately capitalised noting that their relative cheap valuation is an added advantage to investors.

Now,reports collated by Younews Economic Research Team ,across the country with observers and bank products’analysts are pointing to faster movement ahead by Zenith bank with her recent innovation- *966# USSD banking solution.

Zenith Bank second generation banks that stormed the Nigerian banking industry with verve and determination to revolutionise the way banking services were operated in the country. From inception the bank alongside a few others established a niche in the mid-upper class market segment and used differentiation and technology to climb the industry ladder within a relatively short period of time.
Today, in different measures of bank performance Zenith Bank has become a reference name and a trail blazer.. By most size metrics its either number one or two in the industry and this underscores the leadership role it plays after being in operation for just 24 years.

At Zenith Bank Plc, developing the right e-payment products and services remain a priority. The lender knows that e-payment is where the future lies and is committed to new product development to ensure that banking needs of its customers are met.

Imagine being able to move money between banks while relaxing by the pool, or paying bills from the gym, or requesting a new cheque book from your kitchen…

Mobile phones have become one of the most common items that the rich and poor, big and small, men and women, educated and unlettered are seen with theses days. In fact, the youths that drive the social media have acquired mobile phones in variants. These are the targets of the retail banking and financial inclusion.

The latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research showed that about one billion people globally, representing one in seven people on earth, have used their phones to perform at least one banking transaction as at the end of 2015.

 The research authority projects this figure to grow to two billion in the next four years (2020), representing 37 per cent of the global adult population.But there seems to be a game changer in the offing. It is the innovative offering of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), which presently is being tapped by few financial institutions in Nigeria to deepen retail banking and financial inclusion.

As Internet penetration continues to make huge inroads in Africa, the use of mobile phones as the new and preferred banking channel is shaping up rapidly and expected to take centre-stage sooner.

Granted, almost all banks in the leading economies on the continent have launched mobile apps that enable myriads of transactions like bills payment, funds transfers, travel bookings and lots more.In Nigeria, banks are now taking it a bit further and have introduced USSD banking to ensure that the masses, especially those that do not have smart phones are not left perpetually financially excluded. USSD is a Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication technology used to send texts messages between a mobile phone and an application programme in the owner network.

Among the banks in the USSD initiative, Zenith Bank Plc and presently, Nigeria’s most profitable bank and a Tier 1 financial institution, has emerged a major promoter of this channel. It is now asserting that its *966# USSD banking solution will help drive the nation’s financial integration programme being championed by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The bank’s USSD banking solution also tagged: “Easy Way to Bank”, embodies every word in that statement by enabling people perform financial transactions on all known mobile phones, without having to go on the Internet or mobile app.

According to the bank, to open a Zenith Bank account now, people only need to dial *966*0# and follow the prompts and account number will automatically be generated for the customer to start running the account after a short visit to any of the bank’s branches.

To perform transactions with the solution, the bank’s customers are required to perform a one-time registration by dialing *966*00# and following the prompts. After registering, customers can easily carry out myriad of banking activities anytime.With the USSD, almost every aspect of banking can now be done by the phone: For balance enquiries, *966*00#; airtime purchase, *966*amount*Mobile Number#; funds transfer, *966*amount*Beneficiary Account Number#.

These transactions can only be performed from the phone number registered against a customer’s account with Zenith Bank and require a four-digit PIN for transaction authentication.The bank assured that the eazybanking scheme is a convenient, fast, secure, and affordable way to access bank account 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the mobile phone without Internet connectivity.

It is a session-oriented service, unlike SMS, which is a store and forward based service. It is available to all individual account holders with any phone that runs on the GSM platform, except the bank’s ZECA and Premium account holders.The uniqueness of the technological innovation that is different those of SMS, General Pocket Radio Service (GPRS) and application based services; provides an interactive browsing experience; available on all GSM handsets; has an in-built USSD encryption for performing secure transactions; and faster service, as network latency is low.

Eazybanking is also safe as it has different levels of authorisation that ensures banking transactions and information remain private, while it requires verification using Debit card (MasterCard, Visa and Verve)- PAN and PIN to authorize transaction, as well as BVN.Though keying into the scheme is open for all Zenith Bank’s customers, it is generally targeted at low-income earners with non- feature phones.

However, limits on mobile banking transactions with the initiative has been put at a cumulative transfer of N100,000 daily; cumulative transaction limit on airtime top-up of N3,000 daily.For security reasons, when one dials *966*00# for balance enquiry for the first time through the mobile number used in opening the account,
the prompt will ask for registeration by entering the last four digits of the customers Debit Card (MasterCard or Visa) or BVN and then the account balance will show.

 After dialing *966*amount*account number# for a transfer, it will ask the customer to select beneficiary bank and a confirmation page will be displayed showing beneficiary name, bank and the amount.

It is then the customer will be prompted to enter your four-digit PIN and if the transaction is successful, it will display “You have successfully transferred ‘amount’ to ‘beneficiary account number’. The new balance is ‘amount’”.

Indeed, the USSD initiative, as a new strategy to offer wide range of banking services, which were only possible through Internet and smartphones, is a development in the right direction. With increasing knowledge and awareness on this new innovation, it will raise the level of retail banking and ultimately, financial inclusion rate.

Transform your smartphone into a powerful banking tool with Zenith Bank’s Mobile App, a sleek and highly functional app which offers access to all your Zenith Bank accounts such as Savings, Current, Domiciliary and Fixed Deposit accounts

Download the Zenith Mobile Banking App and take your bank with you wherever you go.

With the mobile app you can carry out almost all transactions you would have needed to visit a branch for including the following:

Account Balance Enquiry: View all your accounts (Current, Savings, Fixed Deposit, Domiciliary and Card accounts).

Money Transfers:  You can transfer funds with your mobile phone from wherever you are to any bank account in Nigeria.

Bills payments:   Making bills payments is a breeze as the mobile app’s intuitive interface makes the process seamless. Utility bills, cable tv and internet subscriptions are among the many bills you can pay with the Zenith Bank mobile app.

Cheques:  The Cheques Menu on the app enables you exercise control over your cheques. You can pre-confirm or stop payment of cheques from your mobile phone. And when your chequebook is running thin you can easily request another via your mobile app.

Cards: In that awkward moment when you discover your card is missing, don’t panic, just fire up the app and you can immediately deactivate your lost, stolen or damaged card. And if it turns out that you merely forgot where you left it, you can reactivate it with a few clicks on your app.

Manage your account: The mobile app is a command centre of sorts from where you can manage the settings of your banking. Some of these settings include:  

  • Change Password
  • Change Mobile PIN
  • Change Authentication methods
  • Add and delete beneficiaries

Schedule Recurring Payments/Standing Order: Never miss another subscription payment for cable tv or your internet subscription. Just schedule a recurring payment and forget about it. The app never forgets and will pay your subscriptions on auto-pilot.

Airtime Purchase: Top up your phone and those of your family and friends from your mobile app. With airtime from all networks available and daily purchase limit of N50,000, you will never run out of airtime again.

Pay for flights and make hotel bookings: Business trip, family vacation or cosy getaway, you can book hotels worldwide and pay for your flights from your mobile phone. Just launch the app and start making amazing memories.

Locate Zenith Bank branches and ATMs: If you ever need to quickly locate a Zenith Bank branch or ATM, the mobile app comes in very handy as it can direct you to the nearest branch or ATM. It can also provide you with addresses of all our 350 branches nationwide.

Download the Zenith Mobile Banking App and take your bank with you wherever you go.

About Younews Ng

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