20 April 2024

Progress through a culture of innovation

| The European |

Since the financial crisis that enveloped the global market a decade ago, the profitability and reputation of banks has been under tremendous pressure worldwide. Whilst the banking industry is now regaining its health, the emergence of fintechs and neo-banks is posing a new threat. This digital disruption is changing the traditional ways in which customers access financial services, and put more pressure on banks’ profit margins.

However, Keystone Bank Ltd in Nigeria led by Group Managing Director and CEO, Obeahon Ohiwerei, is challenging that narrative by adopting and executing innovative digital strategies that are proving profitable for the business. From driving customer loyalty to enhancing its digital platforms, customers in the country are experiencing the ease of carrying out banking transactions seamlessly.

In April 2018, the bank partnered with CeLD Innovations Limited to launch a ground-breaking loyalty reward initiative which involves the gifting of a “CashToken’’ to customers. CashToken is an electronic reward, which customers earn as they transact on their bank accounts and digital channels.

The initiative, which is designed to optimise customer loyalty, creates a chance for every customer in Nigeria to win a life-changing cash reward weekly in a National CashToken draw, monitored by Alexander Forbes and audited by Deloitte.

The bank has also launched its refreshed mobile banking application, enhanced with new and exciting user-friendly features for a more convenient banking experience. Customers can now enjoy many benefits and access self-service options, such as easy account opening, convenient self-booking and liquidation of fixed deposits, an expanded list of bill-payment options and easy activation of standing instructions and recurrent future payments.

Other notable features of the mobile app include the option of activating or deactivating a debit card in the event of a loss or theft. A “Hide Balance” feature to safeguard against third-party viewing, and the “Meet Your Relationship Manager Option”, which allows users to call or email their account officers from the app.

In addition, Keystone Bank was the first in the sector to introduce a chat-bot feature called OXYGEN, which enables banking on Telegram and Facebook. It guides users through a whole range of desired transactions step-by-step.

Another first from Keystone Bank is the “Zero Data Banking” feature that enables customers to carry out transactions on their phones without mobile data. Keystone Bank remains the only bank with this feature on its banking app.

For the first time in its operations, Keystone Bank also introduced a new SMART number for customer support. This eliminates the need for customers to note down multiple telephone numbers while removing the uncertainty as to which of the lines are actively engaged.

These, and many other strategies that leverage technology are changing the narrative in Nigeria and repositioning the bank as a major digital player. Global industry voices have taken note and recognised Keystone Bank with a number of awards for innovation.

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