In order to reduce the number of customers trooping into their banking halls, prevent large gatherings and encourage social distancing, as coronavirus fear spreads, some Nigerian banks have suggested the use of self-service through digital platforms and internet banking.
Fidelity Bank and Ecobank sent out messages suggesting their customers take advantage of their digital innovations rather than visiting the banking halls. Although the banks said their branches would still be opened to customers, who prefer face-to-face service at the bank.
This follows the ban on large gatherings in schools, cinemas, restaurants, night clubs and other places by the Federal and State Governments. The banks haven’t been included in the ban list yet, but as a precaution, some banks are already offering alternatives to limit numbers in the banks.
Banking industry hit by the outbreak: In a mail sent to customers, Fidelity Bank said, “Our industry has been drastically impacted by the coronavirus outbreak worldwide and as a result, we have implemented precautionary measures to help safeguard the well-being of our staff, customers and communities we serve.
“It is important that you are able to access funds to run your business or pay bills even in these times. Currently, our branch locations are open and fully staffed to assist with all your banking needs
“However, take advantage of our robust online banking solutions available for your ease, convenience and as a further precautionary measure.”
Ecobank stated that utilizing its out-door platforms is “part of efforts to ensure social distancing, which will help curtail the spread of COVID-19. Customers can bank from anywhere by utilising digital solutions to easily access their bank accounts, make payments, transfer funds, process salaries, and carry out other ancillary banking transactions from the comfort of their homes and offices without visiting branches.”
Meanwhile, Ecobank said it is equipped with needed preventive measures, “Standard measures have been put in place at the branches across the group to help curtail the spread of coronavirus.
“These include the provision of temperature checks at all entry points to screen employees, customers and visitors; installation of hand sanitizers; and equipping customer-facing staff with emergency response plan among others.”
Also speaking on the impact of coronavirus, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, Ade Ayeyemi, stated that “This is an unusual, extraordinary and difficult period in time.
“At Ecobank we do understand that COVID-19 is impacting a number of people and causing others serious concern and anxiety. We will continue to stay abreast of the situation in order to adapt to changing developments for the good health and well-being of all our customers, employees and communities.
“Together let’s keep well and safe, following the instructions given to us by the world health experts for our better health.”