By Ibukun Emiola
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), First Bank of Nigeria Ltd., Mr Adesola Adeduntan, says technology will drive financial inclusion and increase efficiency in the banking system as trends evolve globally.
Adeduntan said this in Ibadan on Wednesday at the inauguration of the FirstBank Digital Xperience Centre, in the University of Ibadan (UI) campus.
According to him, the centre is the second of its kind established by First Bank, adding that it is the only bank in Nigeria with a fully automated digital banking system.
Adeduntan explained that people without internet access could use the machine to open accounts, transfer money or issue debit cards on their own, with the help of the humanoid robot without interacting with human beings.
The CEO noted that automated digital banking would help solve challenges customers faced in their banking operations.
“The robot can help you make enquiries and you can even work with the robot to help you block your account, in case you suspect fraud.
“The first branch of the digital experience centre is located in Victoria Island, Lagos, and we purposely chose University of Ibadan as the second location because of our longstanding relationship with the city of Ibadan and the institution itself.
“We believe that the students, lecturers and all our customers in this neighbourhood will benefit significantly by making use of this facility,” he said.
He added that the centre had cash recyclers, adding that this meant that customers did not have to visit any of its branches to deposit, and customers would no longer be stranded because banks do not open during the weekend.
Adeduntan said the technology used relied on biometrics, making it secure and safe for customers, while also creating more value-adding jobs for staff.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, said it was a privilege for UI to have the digital experience centre of the bank.
Adebowale said it would bring benefits to the staff and students and, as stated by the bank’s CEO, it would be a meeting point between the gown and town.
Similarly, Mr Callistus Obetta, Group Executive Technology Officer, Digital Innovation, and Banking Services, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd., said technology had been changing the way people live, work and interact as well as the way people do business.
“Nigerians are known to be pioneers, both in terms of banking and education. We are here in the University of Ibadan and technology is embedded in the way we do things and we are ready for that,” he said.
Obetta noted that the centre would enhance effectiveness and efficiency in business operations, and save time which would enhance overall productivity.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the first Digital Xperience Centre by the bank was launched at the remodelled Adetokunbo Ademola Branch, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Edited by Deborah Coker/Oluyinka Fadare