As Polaris Bank’s VULTe redefines digital banking
Polaris Bank’s massive investment in basic IT infrastructure gave impetus to what has become today a stable financial service for its clients, with the VULTe platform becoming the new bride of the digital banking ecosystem, writes Nume Ekeghe
Recently, the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), in its report titled: ‘Instant Payments – Annual Statistics 2020’, revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of instant payments as more people people are turning to electronic channels to exchange funds. The report noted that mobile made up 43% of total transactions in 2020, while 35% were with unstructured supplemental service data (USSD), indicating that 78% of total transfer transactions were made to the using mobile devices.
While Fintechs have recently grabbed the headlines as disruptors in the financial space, very little is often reported about traditional banks that have shown immense agility in digital banking, especially in helping to stimulate macroeconomic growth.
In addition to its historic status as a regulatory intervention in 2018 and its significant investment in digital transformation and exceptional financial performance, Polaris Bank has quietly but steadily raised the bar for digital innovation. The bank recently revealed that its digital bank, VULTe, had registered more than one million customers in less than four months after its official launch in May 2021.
This feat is phenomenal in the emerging history of digital banking solutions in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa and a major boost to the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) financial inclusion campaign. A precursor to this achievement was a prior statement by the president of the bank, Muhammad. K. Ahmad, at the launch of the platform. Mr Ahmad said: âVULT is our first major step in giving back control to our customers who have remained loyal to their bank over the years.
The Bank’s Acting Managing Director / CEO Mr. Innocent C. Ike as he interacted with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo while touring the financial services exhibition booths at the 14th Annual Financial Services Conference Bank and Finance held in Abuja, explained the bank’s journey to reach over one million customers on the VULTe platform, noting that VULTe by Polaris Bank is a testament to the bank’s commitment to enable unbanked and underbanked people to enter the financial system through the use of their mobile devices.
Analysts have hailed the latest digital customer listing by VULT as the fastest customer acquisition by any traditional bank through a digital banking platform in Nigeria in recent times. Polaris Bank’s massive investment in basic IT infrastructure gave impetus to what today has become a stable financial service for its customers. The investment also provided a nascent digital platform, which helped grow the bank’s branch network called SurePadi and digital lending product, Polaris Salary Advance.
They also note that this will further accelerate the financial and economic inclusion campaign of the CBN and the federal government, especially given the spread of Polaris Bank in many communities across Nigeria. Integrating a critical mass of customers on the digital platform will boost economic activities for the poor, who will be able to open a bank account from the comfort of their own home and pay for essential goods and services in minutes.
The acquisition of clients by Polaris Bank is also taking place against the backdrop of the tremendous growth in internet penetration in the country, which has seen over 100 million internet users in Nigeria, a growth of over 100 million internet users in Nigeria. 22.1% between January 2020 and January 2021. This figure is expected. to reach 142.73 million by the end of 2026.
VULTe is a digital bank that provides customers with convenient solutions beyond their basic banking needs and enables end-to-end account opening, ensuring customers can open and process their accounts without entering a physical bank. They can also make QR code payments, make debit card requests, issue and activate.
Sharing his experience over one million customers in record time, Mr. Ike attributed it to the scalability of the platform, which ensures continuous improvement in platform functionality as well as the personalized user experience that transformed customer service into self-service. . In his words, “we thank our customers for making this possible, it challenges us to do more to serve you better”
Expressing his enthusiasm, the Chief Digital Officer of the bank, Mr. Dele Adeyinka, noted that VULTe has so far “attracted many users from the financial and non-financial sectors who are looking for business partnerships to increase the value of the offerings to their customers. clients and clients. Many companies have shown increasing interest in the platform’s open banking services through its application programming interface (API). The Open Banking service platform provides secure access for businesses to deliver unique products and services to their customers.
Early users of VULTe Open Banking services include fintech companies, financial service providers, merchant aggregators, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), spanning education, agriculture, manufacturing and editing. Others include large corporations and government / income generating agencies.
The platform supports services such as transparent virtual account opening, bill payment by wire transfer, automated payment notifications, online payment gateway, payroll management and Know Your Business profiles. / Know Your Customer (KYB / KYC).
Global consulting giant KPMG, in its Digital Channels ScoreCard report, published the caption in August 2021: Leveraging Superior User Experience (UX) on Digital Channels to Drive Retail Banking Growth in Nigeria . The report provided an industry perspective on how efficient banks are in delivering products and services to customers as customers walk a range of journeys to access products and services across four distinct digital channels: services mobile banking, internet banking, USSD and Chatbot. The Scorecard covers 13 anchor routes grouped into five thematic areas: Digital Onboarding; Payments and transfers; Digital loan; Self-service and customer service.
Several industry reviews and customer insights claim that VULTe by Polaris Bank is navigating all parameters with increasing platform capacity to deliver more benefits and convenience to its customers.
They further noted that execution is critical to the success of most digital transformation initiatives, such as in the case of VULTe. The Bank’s management has been resilient and has consistently demonstrated its ability to execute its digital transformation initiatives with impact in the areas of people, brand identity, business, technology and products.
With the recent dashboard, Polaris Bank, through its VULTe platform, has become the new bride of the digital banking ecosystem. This feat will undoubtedly spark a renewed conversation about how incumbents can disrupt themselves in the process of creating value, especially in designing platforms that can help scale other businesses.