Skye Bank explores new grounds in electronic banking

The mobility and sophistication of bank customers in this modern era have predisposed the evolution of alternative service channels to cater to their every time and everywhere banking needs. Today’s customers conduct their transactions from their homes, offices and even on the road courtesy of the new service channels which are not only efficient, but fast and secure. This is a radical departure from the old mortal and brick service environment which imposes great limitation on service scope and efficiency.

Nigerian banks have been in the forefront of the adoption of technology to enthrone efficiency, speed, convenience and security in banking. With top line investments in information communication technology, Nigerian banks are high flyers in innovative customer service channel delivery functions.

Leading Nigerian banks like First Bank of Nigeria Plc., United Bank for Africa Plc., Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, Skye Bank and Standard Chartered Bank have done very well in this regard, introducing new technology-based products and services to meet the changing needs of their customers.

These banks’ progress in internet banking, smart card banking and mobile banking has been revolutionary and breath-taking. Customers now perform basic banking transactions like account balance request, transfers and online payments from the comfort of their homes.

Skye Bank Plc., one of the leading banks in Nigeria which is also a pioneer in electronic banking, embraced technology in service delivery at inception and has consistently applied it to delight its customers. The bank provides convenient and innovative electronic banking products and services to drive customer satisfaction, business growth and seamless management of business processes. It also ensures high level of security to ensure its customers are protected. The channels – ATM, PoS, web, mobile and internet banking-are efficient and top rate.

To ensure pleasant customer experience, for instance, the bank went into partnership with ChamsMobile and both launched Nigeria’s first Visa Virtual Card. The Visa Virtual Card is an entirely digital payment card for online and mobile use, both locally and internationally. The card is unique in that cardholders get a full card image (the Virtual card) on their mobile device, PC, or tablet, with a plastic card offered as an option if customers prefer.

The new payment system was designed to expand financial inclusion to millions of Nigerians by offering a low cost bank-like mobile solution, as the card is issued free, linked to a broad range of financial services, and also offers an online payment alternative for e-Commerce savvy individuals, small businesses and corporate companies, membership associations etc.

Kegow is the program and card brand of ChamsMobile Ltd and the new Visa Virtual Card is available on www.kegow.com

Deputy Managing Director of ChamsMobile, Mr. Gavin Young, said that he was excited to partner with Skye Bank and Visa on the unique and ‘First in Nigeria’ Visa Virtual Card payment solution, which was developed with the company’s international joint venture partners Bancore AS (as the Mobile financial services processor) and Global Technology Partners (as the Visa prepaid card processor).

“It is unique in that customers actually see an image of their card on their mobile phones, tablets and pcs, whereby all the essential features of a physical card, are shown in its ‘Virtual form’; card number, expiry date and CVV number, for example. This, for many customers, negates the need for a physical plastic card, although we offer plastic cards as an option for customers requiring such.

“E-commerce savvy users can shop securely online by loading funds from a bank account or any other financial card, and those without a formal banking relationship will suddenly have the means to make their money work for them and move towards financial inclusion,” he said.

Speaking on this, Head, E-Channels, Skye Bank Plc., Mr Akinwale Ojo, said: “The bank chose to work with ChamsMobile, and its card processing partner GTP, based on careful consideration of the benefits all parties could bring to the table and in consideration of how the bank could best serve millions of Nigerians with this product, and particularly those who may be financially excluded, requiring a low cost yet fully inclusive financial services offering.”

On his part, Ade Ashay, Country Manager for Visa in West Africa, stated that “Our strategy of bringing world class innovation to Africa continues to make shopping online and via traditional channels much more convenient. Visa’s Virtual Card will make a real change to the lives of Nigerians by helping them to safely access the digital economy and participate in ecommerce.”

The two companies followed up with the introduction of a Visa eGift payment card. The eGift card is an online VISA card, which ChamsMobile Kegow subscribers can send by mobile phone. The eGift card follows the successful introduction of Kegow’s virtual VISA card. The eGift card works exactly the same way, but is mainly for sending monetised gifts to family, friends, business associates etc., in order to eliminate the stress and worry of what to buy for them on special occasions. It is an entirely digital payment card for online and mobile use, locally and internationally and is unique in that recipients get a full picture of the Virtual eGift Card on their mobile screen, PC, or tablet.

The reward for these innovations have been swift: Skye Bank Plc. and ChamsMobile jointly won the ‘Best  Mobile money/Card combination in Nigeria’ award for their joint development and activation of the Kegow Visa virtual card. The award was presented to the winning organisations at the Kalahari Awards 2016 during the 6th Remittance and Mobile Money Conference, which took place in Lagos.

The organisers of the awards, Kalahari Awards, commended both ChamsMobile and Skye Bank for partnering to develop an innovative and revolutionary virtual card to ease payment for transactions as well as facilitate e-commerce. The Kalahari Awards which brought together mobile money operators and card services providers from across Africa seeks to appreciate and honour operators that have distinguished themselves in the industry for their game-changing innovations.