At FirstBank, the journey from product conceptualization to product launch is borne out of our clear understanding of varying customer needs, market dynamics and our deeply rooted culture of compliance to extant regulations. This has sustained our dominance in the financial industry while serving Nigeria for over a century through the colonial, military and democratic governance systems. The operations of the bank are highly regulated by three major regulatory entities; the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation and Securities & Exchange Commission. We are regulated by similar entities in the subsidiary markets.
‘Compliance’ is viewed as every staff’s responsibility, the Product Managers are regarded as the first line of defense for the protection of customer/bank interest while creating and managing products. Our Compliance team is saddled with the critical responsibility of regulating the Product ecosystem by ensuring that enacted policies and processes are strictly adhered to by stakeholders through the Product lifecycle. These stakeholders playing in the ecosystem include; the product teams, IT, vendors, branches, relationship management teams etc. The Compliance team also functions as a second level check providing comfort to the bank’s management team. Other roles of the compliance team include;
- Ensuring that products and services are compliant to extant regulations
- Ensuring product features are reviewed to align with the changes in regulation
- Ensuring that stakeholders are adequately trained to observe relevant regulatory guidelines in the discharge of their duties such as;
– KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements
– Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
– Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism
– Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering requirements etc.
The CBN’s approval is obtained before any product or service is deployed to the market or adjustments and enhancements are made to the features of an existing product. As part of our product enrolment process, the customer’s consent must be obtained before a product is activated or renewed, this could be in digital or written form. Our bouquet of Products and services can be summarized as follows;
- Deposit Liability Products – Savings, Current, Domiciliary, Term Deposit Accounts
- Asset Products – Digital Lending, Overdrafts, Term & Time Loans, Mortgage, Device & Vehicle, Financing, Agent Credit
- Card Products – Debit & Prepaid Cards, Credit Cards,
- Messaging – Transaction alert services, Inquiry services.
- Digital & Physical Channels – USSD (894 Banking), FirstMobile App, FirstOnline, ATM, POS, QR & Web Acceptance Services
- Financial Inclusion Products & Services – Agent Banking and Firstmonie Wallet
- Money Transfer Services
- Payments & Collections Services
In terms of innovation and improvement in financial technology, we leverage partnerships with licensed FINTECHs to co-create affordable and compelling products and services, governed by standard SLAs, regulatory framework and data protection policies such as Data Masking, Data Inventory Framework, Security certificates etc. We also adhere to international best practices whilst conducting our electronic business to ensure the security and protection of customer data and funds. We comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), to optimize the security of cards and cash transactions and protect cardholders against misuse of their personal information. All our ATMs are Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV)-compliant. Our Digital platforms are fully connected to the National Central Switch (NCS) to ensure interoperability and interconnectivity of the scheme.
Our high sense of responsibility to our stakeholders has equally guided us to deploy resilient and time-tested internal policies and controls, some of which has earned us an enviably reputation as a most compliant institution in all the markets where we operate.
The FirstContact, our helpdesk, is committed to an efficient and prompt response to enquiries and resolution of customer complaints within stipulated timelines. We have also commenced the deployment of self-serviced customer complaint modules on our channels which will soon be available to customers. We believe this will be of great value as self-logged issues will be digitally routed to the respective Product teams for an instant resolution and engagement where applicable.
Though we continually seek innovative ways to efficiently meet the needs of our customers and remain competitive in the industry, compliance remains our topmost priority to ensure the safety and protection of our customers while adopting and using our products and services. This is staying true to our Brand Promise to Customers – “You First”.