This week has been declared banking week. Most of the banks have used the opportunity to showcase their products, improved service delivery and in some cases have the chief executive officer of the bank serve as cashiers, feeling the pulse of the customers.
Banks like Diamond Bank, Zenith Bank, GTBank, Access Bank have been in the forefront of celebrating banking during the week.
in the last two decades, banks’ customers have not only surged in number but have continued to manifest changes in lifestyle and behaviour. This customer lifestyle evolution has made innovations in financial products and services delivery a necessity, as banks have to create, and recreate financial products to be in line with current social and business realities; and, ensure that these product innovations meet the rapidly changing choices of the customer.
Although Banks Relevance Index in the provision of financial services seem not to be very cheery because of the intrusion of other non-traditional financial institutions into the financial services delivery sub-sector, a few banks have continued to create financial products and services that are well at par with technological innovations. For example some banks even go to the extent of developing financial products and engage technology companies to develop the tool to drive it.
Diamond Bank has continued to lead the revolution in meeting the ever changing behaviour of the customer.
Diamond Bank appears to be taking its cue from the fact that the future holds more promises than even now. Their sight is on the youths, yet not forgetting the adult people.
But their future aspiration is driven by the fact that statistics from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that 63 per cent of the country’s 168 million population are under 25 years and about 64.3 per cent of this huge population that are between the ages of 15-24 do not have a bank account, leaving them with no secure and supportive way to save for future goals.
Diamond Bank is particularly interested in young people because they represent its strategic vision as an organisation of providing superior value and technology-based innovation.
“The buying power of this segment who account for more than half of the population in Nigeria, also makes this engagement a strategic imperative. At the same time, our expansion into the retail market requires that we focus on this group.
“Our core corporate social activity in this area focuses on training and equipping students of tertiary institutions in underserved states across the country with (ICT) and Entrepreneurial Skills. This approach will not only provide youths with practical skills that make them employable but will also serve as a source of livelihood through IT Skills development. The first edition of this initiative held in October 2013 with 100 students 2 tertiary institutions in Uyo, AkwaIbom State. The second edition will commence on October 13th in Aba, Abia state. The Diamond Bank ICT intervention Project in South-East Nigeria is a capacity building program that will train 100 youth in Aba, Abia State on ICT, Entrepreneurship and Life Skills by December 2014”, said an official of the bank.
The initiative is being implemented in partnership with Paradigm Initiative of Nigeria, a foremost ICT firm in Nigeria. Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) is a social enterprise that connects underserved Nigerian youth with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) opportunities, with specific concern about the ill effects of unemployment and cybercrime among other vices that limit the potential contribution of young Nigerians to the nation’s economy. PIN would provide trainees with continued post-program mentorship and support for a period of six months after graduation.
“We want young people to know that Diamond Bank is not just for adults, Diamond Bank is your bank too. We have worked hard to be the bank that understands the financial needs of parents and their children and to provide the right products and support to help them save to achieve their dreams,” the official stated.
Africa’s first Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and the Lagos State Government had commended Diamond Bank Plc recently for its role in championing the intellectual development of children and the growth of art in primary and secondary schools.
Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr.IdiatOlurantiAdebule, stated that Diamond Bank’s initiative and sponsorship of related competitions since its inception in 2012, is a testament of the bank’s strong commitment to the future of children, pointing that such commitment serves as a wake-up call to other corporate organisations to support and participate in various programs aimed at boosting the quality of education in the State.
“The Vision of the Child (VOTC) is an initiative geared towards promoting education through creative thinking, literary arts and painting skills. This vision is in tune with our educational policy in Lagos State and that is why government has participated actively in it since inception. We will continue to do so as long as it provides children the platform to express their understanding of the world they live in, their vision of what it should be, as well as their fantasies and dreams,” the Deputy Governor stated.
Speaking further, she said, “We commend Diamond Bank and we are delighted to note that the VOTC, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, has reached out to over 3,000 schools in Lagos till date. The themes may appear deep and challenging but as we have seen from the exhibitions and literary presentations of the children, Nigeria still has a great future. We also hope to have a good journey in 2016.”
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Diamond Bank, UzomaDozie, said,
“At Diamond Bank, we try to go beyond banking and supporting the VOTC is one of our ways of ensuring that we contribute to the growth, development and nurturing of children”.
Also, Diamond bank was named “Largest Lender to Small Businesses” at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry awards ceremony held at the Muson Centre Onikan Lagos.
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is a leading voice of the private sector through its sustained public policy advocacy, stakeholders, engagement and trade promotion activities towards creating a conducive investment arena and prosperous economy.
According to the Award Committee, Diamond Bank was selected for its reputation as the first financial institution in Nigeria to develop a bespoke proposition to medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME) by offering them fixed free account, Business Seminars and Business Clinic in the MSME space.
In a bid to ensure the youths get empowered, one way or the other, Diamond Bank called for increased investment in the music industry.
According to the Bank, the current situation were most operators in the industry lack the requisite specialized management skills to efficiently manage the business of entertainment, it is necessary that corporate organisations and investors come to the rescue by investing in the industry and helping to install reliable and business-focused management.
IkechukwuOmeife, Team lead, Media Relations, Diamond Bank, said the budding talents in the industry require adequate support in order to fulfill their potentials.
“Our bank believes in the youths of this country and their creative talents and potentials. We believe all these must be properly harnessed. The entertainment industry is a huge industry that has the capacity to absorb good number of unemployed in the country. These youths require corporate support and that is why we have been supporting this award for the past three years. We hope other organisations will do likewise by supporting this and other related events so we could jointly lift up this industry,” he said.
Omeife recalled that the products of the industry have received global attention and recognition with the country’s music and its videos becoming very popular abroad.
Another official of the bank, Mr.UdokaOguamanam, noted that the Bank’s interest in youths has driven it to come up with different initiatives targeted at harnessing their unique creative talents. He said the on-going #YouNeedANewBank contest where young people are expected to remix the Bank’s theme song for an opportunity of winning a music record deal and cash prizes, was one of such platforms to encourage them.
Also, still targeting the youths, Diamond Bank Plc raised the stakes higher in the race for digital innovation in financial services as its mobile app users hit the one million mark, thus separating the management and the bank as the leader in the transformation of banking services in Nigeria and the continent of Africa.
The one millionth customer who downloaded and registered the Diamond Mobile app on Valentine’s Day, has his savings account domiciled at Okumagba Avenue branch in Warri, Delta State.
Also, twenty eight lucky customers were rewarded for downloading, registering and using the Diamond mobile app last December. Each of the 28 customers received gifts ranging from the new Iphone 6, Apple digital wristwatch, a year cable TV subscription, internet data subscription and cash.
The winners emerged through an online electronic draw, which was conducted among the Bank’s mobile app users that participated in December 2015 Diamond Liberacion promo.
Diamond Bank’s digital initiative has remained revolutionary. It gained accelerated growth in 2014, when UzomaDozie, highly techie, took over as the CEO and launched a major redesign of the Bank’s digital focus and strategy aimed at expanding its channels of electronic financial services for its customers and, also, improve the financial lives of the under-banked and the unbanked.
Since then, Diamond Bank has improved on all its digital electronic banking services and led a number of innovative projects that have translated to rapid growth on the retail side. Since 2004, Diamond’s Internet banking subscribers grew astronomically, the Bank introduced the Diamond Magic Cash, Diamond Touch ID and Diamond Y’ello with a host of other digital financial services waiting to be pushed into the market.