First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Ltd. on Tuesday entered into a partnership with an online money transfer firm, WorldRemit, to strengthen its digital money transfer globally.
Mr Gbenga Shobo, First Bank’s Deputy Managing Director, said at the media launch of the partnership in Lagos, that the alliance would aid instant money transfer to the bank’s over 14 million accounts across the country.
WorldRemit provides international remittance services to expatriates and migrant workers and has its headquarters in London.
Shobo said the bank extended its frontiers to the WorldRemit in order to leverage on the company’s wide e-transact capabilities to deepen First Bank’s money transfer processes.
“Over the years, First Bank has taken the lead in providing relevant service to its customers. We pioneered the West Union Money transfer, Moneygram, among others and now WorldRemit.
“WorldRemit complements First Bank digital strategy designed for convenient banking transactions from the comfort of our homes and offices to First Bank accounts in Nigeria,” Shobo said.
He said First Bank was collaborating with WorldRemit to drive convenience and ease of banking for its customers and provide the much-needed push for financial inclusion initiatives.
Shobo explained that customers with the partnership could now send money to their loved ones in Nigeria from 52 locations where WorldRemit currently operated globally.
Mr Tunde Owolabi, First Bank Group Executive, Retail Banking, Lagos and West, said WorldRemit partnered with the bank because of its size and market share.
Mr Andrew Stewart, WorldRemit Regional Head of Middle East & Africa, said the new strategic partnership would expand the company’s footprint in the country.
Stewart said the company was delighted to partner with First Bank to give its 14 million customers its best money transfer experience.
He said Nigeria remained its largest and fastest growing market in Africa and Nigeria was WorldRemit’s second biggest market globally.
“This is a key partnership in the country that will further support Nigeria’s transition from offline remittances to online, safer, faster and lower-cost money transfer methods,” he said.
Stewart said the partnership would allow its customers in over 50 countries to send money to First Bank accounts directly from their phones.
He explained that the deal supported WorldRemit’s plan to serve 10 million customers in emerging markets by 2020.
“With over 15 million people living in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, remittances play an increasingly important role in Nigeria’s economy.
“The World Bank estimates that in 2017 alone Nigeria received over 22 billion dollars in remittances, making it the largest recipient in Africa.
“Sub-saharan Africa still remains the most expensive region to send remittances, with an average cost of 9.4 per cent for sending 200 dollars, according to the World Bank report,” Stewart said.
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