In a step to redefining virtual banking in Nigeria, one of the leading microfinance banks in Nigeria, VFD Microfinance Bank just launched a new product. The product “V” as it’s called is said to be a fully digital one-stop platform that will bring banking to both banked and underbanked Nigerians at their doorsteps. This feature is also said to transform the face of banking in the country.
Speaking at the product launch which took place in Lagos, VFD explained that “V” will enable users to open a functional bank account and be able to do transactions in less than five minutes at zero cost with no hidden charges and they can be done from the comfort of users’ mobile devices.
In a country where as many as 25-40 million people use smartphones, this product is said to be Nigeria’s first virtual bank as maintenance fees and bank-related charges weigh on bank customers in the country.
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The MD/CEO of VFD Microfinance Bank Azubike Emodi in a speech said, “At the heart of what we do is the customer, hence, we ensured “V” is built around the users.” He further explained that in redefining virtual banking in Nigeria, the app will increase consumer experience by giving them a better oversight of their account activities than what is currently available.
Features on this application will enable customers to create a budget and spending limits, classify and track expenses, generate and share payment receipts, pay bills and buy airtime in addition to making transfers across banks in the country and receiving payments among other things.
This feature will also allow users to make cardless withdrawals on ATMs, create fixed deposit accounts and target savings which will attract interest with all activities secured by top-notch security systems. The product has already started receiving testimonials by early users including SMEs and retail customers who applauded the app saying it allows for stress-free banking interaction, flexible investment plans, and financial discipline.
According to the ecosystem consultant for the lender, Hugo Leijtens, “the people behind “V” are taking a more consumer-centric approach with an aggressive feedback collection mechanism to build an app that meets with the intent of the customer.” He further said, “new features will be updated on the app on a quarterly basis led strictly by consumer need and experience”.
The bank also said even though lending isn’t yet available on the app, it would work towards integrating such services despite the fact that loan seekers can initiate the process of getting credit via “V”. Another interesting feature of “V” is the referral functionality called “Veelage” which is designed to reward committed users as they get a specific number of people on-board the platform.
Olukunle Salami , VFD Group Business Performance Manager explained the approach as an innovative one to marketing since the value proposition is both ways and it will give individuals who refer others the opportunity to earn for several months beyond the initial referral point. The app is available on android and apple phone stores and other channels to support the product like internet banking would be rolled out shortly.