When mobile banking Apps started ushering in just over a decade ago, they were more used as convenient tools to check and monitor account balances. Today, with customers being increasingly accustomed to innovative mobile technologies, expectations are higher than mobile banking Apps will provide a more fully-rounded experience.
Today, the rapid growth and widespread use of information technology is touching every part of human life and as technology begins to settle in, banking has become more seamless and easy. Banks are beginning to strategically decongest their banking halls and encourage the use of mobile apps for transactions.
As one of the leading banks in Nigeria, The Standard Chartered bank App is one of the most secure and user-friendly platforms for transactions and is highly equipped with additional cutting-edge capabilities to enhance the customer experience.
The App delivers easier, faster, and more convenient solutions to streamline and make financial transactions very exciting. It is not surprising that Standard Chartered currently has one of the best mobile banking apps in the country and despite its successes in this regard, the bank continues to innovate in efforts to guarantee a future of secure, fast, and convenient banking for all.
The Standard Chartered APP has made things easier for innumerable customers across the country. Irrespective of a user’s location, you can perform the most important financial operations on the go. Everything from checking account statements to paying utility bills and transferring funds can be done online with the mobile banking application.
The App is secure, very simple to use, and allows you to perform transactions and manage your bank account(s) from your mobile device. Some of the banking activities that can be done with the App include:
(READ MORE: Standard Chartered: Easy banking at no cost)
- Viewing the account balance and transaction history.
- Initiating bank transfer from your account to other Standard Chartered accounts and other bank accounts.
- Paying bills and purchase airtime and data bundles for all mobile telecommunication networks in the country.
- Request a credit/Visa Gold Debit card directly from the App and it will be delivered to your mailing address anywhere in Nigeria at a zero cost
- Service requests directly on the app that eliminates almost the need to go to the branch. For example, fixed deposit, choose PIN and active your debit/credit card, request letters, confirm cheques, etc can all be done on the app
With a stunning user interface and attractive appearance, the Standard Chartered mobile banking app ensures swift and quick banking operations. It is extremely easy-to-use, interactive, and intuitive with an attractive UI and simple functionality that makes financial transactions a cakewalk.
Focus on the customer journey
The page layout, content display, and task flow are top-notch, to begin with. Like B. J. Fogg’s Behavioral Model suggests, it is important that a user is motivated to use the app. All the immediate call-to-actions are well placed and help users take the desired actions and detailed information.
No information overload
Serious thought was put behind understanding and thinking of the Customers who are going to use the App with absolutely no overload of information. The Standard Chartered App is clean with a simple interface that focuses on what the user is really trying to do.
OPINION: Should the Federal Government revise the 2020 budget benchmark to $25 a barrel?
Nigeria should be mindful that demand does not necessarily translate to sales at the headline futures contract price. The market is still recovering from the super-contango it faced a month ago.
Three weeks ago, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, the Nigerian Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, at a web conference on Citizens’ Dialogue Session, said the Federal Government was deliberating on revising the 2020 budget oil price benchmark to $20. She disclosed that this was a fair reflection of the oil price level while discussing on Government’s Fiscal Policy Decisions on the fall in Oil Prices and the COVID-19 pandemic. A few days after, it was reported that the Federal Government had approved new budget benchmarks which was at $25 per oil barrel, and a target production rate of 1.94 million barrels per day.
In my last article, now that oil is back, I noted several elements behind the resurgence in oil prices in the last few weeks. Factors are ranging to an increase in demand from China, production shut-ins from OPEC+ nations, a reduction in the number of active rigs to the lowest level seen in 11 years by U.S. drillers which trimmed output further and ease in lockdowns in globally.
On early hours of Tuesday morning at the Asian session, Brent traded at $35.60, a dip from Thursday highs at $36.98. Very few oil traders and energy analysts envisaged prices to be at these levels considering the unprecedented collapse of prices on the 20th of April 2020 were oil prices traded at negative prices. Recalling that period, everyone who had sparse knowledge on the fundamentals of oil gave their outlooks and predicted that that was the end of oil. It is similar to the effect “The Last Dance” has now, with everyone giving their two cents on Michael Jordan’s career despite never watching a complete game he played.
So, could it be said that the Government adjusting the benchmark to $25 is a little bit low, or would $35 be a fair benchmark given the recent improvements in the oil sector? The answer depends really on how quick events get back to normal or the “new normal” as the new cliché goes by these days or if there would be a second wave of infections because of premature easing of lockdowns and poor compliance in social distancing.
In March 2020, Investment Bankers Goldman Sachs cut their 2nd Quarter Brent price forecasts to $30 per barrel. This forecast was following the aftermath of the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia after a failed agreement on output cuts. Two months down the line, things have considerably improved, and we now have an output deal. Historically, this is one of the most significant output deals as OPEC+ nations agreed to take 9.7million barrels a day out of the oversupplied market. As Nairametrics reported after the OPEC+ deal, Nigeria’s contribution to the cuts would be to produce 1.412 Million Barrels per day, 1.495 Million Barrels per day, and 1.579 Million Barrels per day respectively for the corresponding periods in the agreement. These production rates do not align with what the Government approved (1.94 million barrels a day) at the virtual Federal Executive council meeting.
How then should the 2020 Budget Oil Price Benchmark be reviewed? Although demand picking up from most importers of Nigeria’s oil, which should spell good news for our revenue accounts, we should be mindful that demand does not necessarily translate to sales at the headline futures contract price. The market is still recovering from the super-contango it faced a month ago. Contango defines the disconnect between physical barrel prices and the futures market. For example, Brent price at $35 does not mean Bonny Light, Qua Iboe crude our oil benchmark grades would sell at $35. If we recall, during the oil price war, Nigeria offered its oil for huge discounts and could not get buyers for their oil.
Another issue to consider is the cost of producing oil in Nigeria, which ranges around $22 per barrel. NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari, at a meeting organized by the Central Bank Of Nigeria, said Nigeria would be out of business, should the price of crude oil drops to as low as $22 per barrel. If costs are at $22, how much revenue does Nigeria generate from its limited oil sales?
In conclusion, given all these variables, I think it would be safe to pin the benchmark closer to the bottom of the market at $25, in anticipation of any adverse movements that might occur in supply and demand. This would be the right call for the Federal Government. The Bulls might be in control, but it would be advisable not to get over their heads as the pandemic can still likely throw cold water on the hopes of the price rally.
Skills Africa needs for sustainable development
Over a billion people with 5 official working languages – Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and Swahili , will again celebrate Africa Day this year.
From Addis Ababa to Durban, Lagos to Cairo, from the Sahara Dessert to the Nile River, over a billion people with 5 official working languages – Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and Swahili – will again celebrate Africa Day this year.
A day to remember, reminisce and celebrate successes recorded against the struggles for independence, freedom from apartheid and colonization. Although, with the new normal brought about by Coronavirus, the 2020 celebrations would be quite unlike previous years.
The Africa Union (Formerly OAU) has recorded good milestones in terms of political independence and self-governance. So now is a good time for Africa to reflect on our independence.
On reading the objectives of the Africa Union (AU), words like independence, territorial integrity, human rights, security, cooperation are splattered across the pages. Significantly, none of the AU objectives seeks economic autonomy for Africa or her member states. This is a fundamental flaw which speaks directly to Africa’s issue of having a large population without the requisite skills for growth.
Our education is largely dependent on the western curriculum and narrative. There is hardly any major infrastructure, industrial or development project in Africa with 100% African content in manpower, materials or capital.
It is now well established and more evident that political independence without economic independence is like a car without an engine. Economic empowerment is the nucleus of national development. No fewer than 14 West African countries currently use CFA Franc, with some having used the currency for at least 75 years. This goes beyond nameplate as the Bank of France holds half of those countries’ currency reserves. This is effectively cutting their growth capacity by 50%.
8 of those 14 countries will relinquish the CFA franc for the new ECOWAS currency, ECO (to be launched in July 2020). However, there is no indication that the affected African leaders would ask France for compensation for the years of economic sabotage to their countries. The introduction of the ECO was to bring a ray of hope, but we hope the real difference would not just be in the colour of the currency. This is because the ECO will not be autonomous but would be pegged against the Euro.
France is not alone in the economic sabotage of Africa, they are in the good company of the United Kingdom, the US and Belgium, to mention a few. However, are these foreign countries to blame? Africa got her independence, but African leaders refuse to be independent and the dependent mentality is also enshrined in the AU objectives.
One of the AU objectives states “to work with relevant international partners in the eradication of preventable diseases and the promotion of good health on the continent.” The statement looks good superficially, but it is enlaced with aid orientation, the lack of drive for self-reliance, and a beggarly mindset.
Let us educate Africa to pursue the development of its people, with core skills that are necessary to deliver the quality of the progress and growth that Africans desire. African construction companies should make African infrastructure and 100% African content should be the target in automobile engineering, healthcare, information technology,
Necessity is said to be the mother of invention. The need for Africans to lead Africa out of poverty, tyranny and underdevelopment is a matter of great importance, far beyond just necessity. Every African must desire to get skilled, and not just education, as we currently have it. We must have the competence to develop our agriculture system, mine Africa’s natural resources and add value by processing them locally.
Africa Day would only be truly worthy of celebration when African people and countries are skilled enough to accomplish our dreams of self-reliance and economic independence.
Article written by Olatunde Akintola. Olatunde is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria and alumni of Manchester Business School. He writes from Lagos.
Insurance as an Aids-to-Trade
Insurance is a support service to a business that helps it manage her risks. While, it helps the business to manage her risk, insurance also promises to bring the business back to the position it was if the risk insured crystallizes.
As a young secondary school student, I liked commerce as a subject. And amongst all the topics we were taught, “Trade and Aids to Trade” was my favourite. By definition, aids to trade are those auxiliary services that make it easy to carry out trade. These include but not limited to insurance, advertising, warehousing, transportation, and banking. These support services serve as leverage to business and help its competitiveness. Therefore, it will be difficult for a business entity to survive without them. They determine the survival of any business entity whether small, medium, or large scale.
Insurance is a support service to a business that helps it manage her risks. While, it helps the business to manage her risk, insurance also promises to bring the business back to the position it was if the risk insured crystallizes. However, this reimbursement happens only when the cause of the loss is an insured peril.
How does insurance do this? It is structured in such a way that the insured knows in advance what his policy covers and what is excluded. This is expressly stated in a policy document that embodies the terms and conditions of the policy and is made in a readable format. In recent times, this is interpreted in languages that the insured understand to reduce ambiguity.
The insured is expected to not only read but understand the lines in the policy. The understanding of the policy document is especially useful when claims occur. This is because, when an insured understood the terms, conditions, warranties, and clauses in his policy document, lodging of claims and processing of the same become a lot easier. This is perhaps one of the challenges of many Nigerians. We are usually in a hurry and rarely read policy documents, such as terms and conditions for any product or service. The simplification of this process is a major challenge that the insurance industry needs to address in order to gain more trust from the public.
In Nigeria like any other country, businesses are vulnerable to catastrophic shocks ranging from fire to burglary, pecuniary to liability risk. A business entity could be enmeshed in unforeseen legal liability as a result of the usage of its products by the public. Unfortunately, these risks could bring about the end of the business entity if not properly managed; leading to other unforeseen circumstances such as trapping owners and employees to a poverty-vulnerability vicious cycle. The aim of insurance is to prevent this likelihood and/or restore hope if it happens.
Despite the benefits businesses could reap through the insurance support services, many businesses still do not take advantage of insurance to protect their business. There are many insurance products that a business can buy to safeguard her from an imminent crash in a third world country like Nigeria. There are products like Fire and Special Perils, Fire Consequential Loss, Fidelity Guaranty, Money, Burglary, Group Personal Accident, Motor Vehicle Insurance, Public Liability, Product Liability, etc. Each of these products has its own unique features, covers, and exclusions. For example, while fire and special perils cover the business against actual conflagration and allied perils, the fire consequential loss provides cover to the business against the income the business would have earned over a period but for the fire incident that happened. Fidelity Guaranty covers the business against dishonesty and embezzlement by insured’s employees against the business and when there is a loss of money to armed robbers, money insurance will come to the rescue.
In recent times, many businesses in Nigeria have gone under following an unfortunate fire incident in most commercial centers of the country. While the happening of the fire incident may not be the fault of the business owner; the owner could be blamed for not taking steps to forestall the impact of the fire incident. However, it is has been proven that one of the reasons for the non-acceptance of insurance is because of the cynical attitude of many people. To them insurance can never work. Little do they know that insurance does work and provides a hedge against such an occurrence of risks.
These cynics based their argument on the fact that it is impossible to pay a token to the insurance company and be indemnified or reinstated to the former position before the loss. While it may be correct to say Nigeria Insurance Industry has suffered from poor image arising from many years of poor handling of claims, litigations, and the likes, the narrative has changed drastically from the goodwill the industry is beginning to garner. The regulatory agency, the National Insurance Commission has continued to work assiduously to restore credibility in the industry. Today, claims are settled quickly and without stress to the insured. In fact, times certain vital claims substantiating documents are waived and the claim paid just to build business relationships and goodwill.
Perhaps, an explanation of the concept of insurance will help for clarity. Insurance is the pooling of risk which depends on the game of large numbers. It uses the concept of using the resources of the fortunate many to indemnify the unfortunate few. A good business student will comprehend this concept and then added a little mathematics, forecasting, and understanding of past experience, all things being equal, the company will take care of her liability and still smile to the bank. This has been consistent over the years but a poor understanding of the dynamics of the market and other environmental factors have pushed perception to negative making understanding and appreciation of insurance policy very difficult.
At this point, it is imperative to admonish the insurance practitioners to be a little more visible than it has been. People can only patronize the propositions they can relate with and values that resonant with them especially when it comes from trusted sources. The industry needs to make use of both traditional and modern means of advertising and communication to change the perception of insurance in the minds of Nigerians. The insurance industry needs to take advantage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to create, engage, and relate more to the public. More so, there is a need for them to launch a campaign that will bring to the fore the amount and number of claims the industry pays per time. This could be done through publications by the industry trade organization, the Nigeria Insurers Association.
Having said the above, it is important to mention that the benefits accruable to businesses from insurance support services cannot be overemphasized. It is my firm belief that a business that aims to be in perpetual existence will find the insurance cover a worthy partner. While this article targets mainly business entities, it is equally valuable to individuals. Therefore, let us as individuals and businesses buy insurance for sustainable living and peace of mind.
Chukwu Oteh is a Chartered Insurance practitioner based in Lagos. He can be reached on 0807 838 8333