By Nse Anthony-Uko
(Sundiata Finance) — First Bank of Nigeria Limited has redoubled its quest for financial inclusion in Nigeria with the introduction of *894# Quick Banking service, a banking application that will deliver unrestricted banking power to customers.
Financial inclusion is the provision of a broad range of high quality financial products such as savings, credit, insurance, payments and pensions, which are relevant, appropriate and affordable for the entire adult population, and especially the low income segment.
According to a study conducted by the World Bank, financial inclusion is critical in reducing poverty and achiev¬ing inclusive economic growth as studies have shown that when people participate in the financial system, they are better able to start and expand businesses, invest in education, manage risk, and absorb financial shocks. First Bank has been at the forefront of driving financial inclusion in Nigeria.
“Built on the innovative USSD technology, the *894# quick banking service transmits information through GSM network channels via mobile phones,” said a statement from the Bank. “The service will deliver to customers the power to bank anywhere and at any time.”
The Bank said that the service is quick, convenient and easy to use as beneficiary accounts are credited instantly with alert notifications. USSD technology facilitates sessions of communication that can be used in various areas of life including banking, and the *894# USSD service makes banking services available across all GSM networks, on any type of handset or device: iphone, android, blackberry, and even simple feature phones often referred to as ‘kpalasa’ in Nigeria.
The service does not internet connection to function. Also, it can be used in remote locations across Nigeria. This USSD service is delivered on the customers’ registered phone numbers linked to their First Bank accounts.
“With *894#, the mobile phone has become a mobile branch and First Bank customers can activate this service in three steps: dial *894*0#; enter a four digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) linked to the debit card; create a five digit PIN, and the registration is complete,” said First Bank.
Customers can transfer money to First Bank and other banks in Nigeria; buy airtime for themselves and their loved ones; check account balance on their phones, and do lots more wherever they are. PIN reset on this service requires only a quick dial of *894*0#.
Banking transactions can now be performed on the go irrespective of location or time as there is no worry of internet connectivity or a token device, but only a Personal Identification Number (PIN). To send money, simply dial *894*Amount*Account Number#; select beneficiary bank; confirm amount, beneficiary name and enter five-digit PIN; then select account to debit.
For airtime recharge: simply dial *894*Amount# to recharge for self; to recharge for others, dial *894*Amount*Phone Number# and enter five-digit PIN. FirstBank customers can transfer up to N100,000.00 per day and recharge airtime up to N10,000.00 per day. To generate account mini statement, dial*894*AccountNumber#, and to check account balance, the magic code is *894*00#. FirstBank has always been at the forefront of seamless banking transaction in a convenient and secured manner and is committed to ensure its customers are fully served with the USSD service. Launching soon on the *894# Quick Banking service bouquet are: the utility bill payment, payment for goods and services at any retail store in Nigeria, opening of savings account and linking customer BVN to the new accounts.