Nigeria’s leading digital bank, VFD, has deployed Bolanle, an AI-powered digital assistant, to support customers in banking transactions across Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. In less than two minutes, Bolanle can set up a new account with zero paperwork, transfer funds, pay bills, and perform cardless ATM withdrawals among other functions.
The introduction of this Chat Banking solution follows the launch of its mobile banking app ‘V by VFD’ in March 2020, demonstrating the bank’s resolve to tackle issues of financial inclusion in Nigeria by ensuring that banking services are available to all Nigerians on all possible customer channels. The goal is to offer a fully digital one-stop platform to both the banked and the unbanked Nigerians.
As a leading digital bank, VFD relies on the surge in the adoption of mobile connectivity and digital service to bring banking services closer to its customers. It is therefore a natural progression to team up with eBanqo to leverage the rise of messaging apps and advancements in conversational AI to build Bolanle.
“Since inception, we have simplified digital interactions between businesses and their customers. Our platform automates responses to frequently asked questions, provides self-service options, and gives real-time assistance to customers on Webchat, Facebook Messenger, Twitter Direct Messaging, WhatsApp, and several other direct messaging platforms. Furthermore, our solution is completely self-service and automated, which means organisations can offer their services 24/7 without disruption,” explains Charles Ifedi; CEO eBanqo.
Highlighting the merits of VFD’s partnership with eBanqo, Gbenga Omolokun, Executive Director Risks, Compliance and Technology for VFD Group said; “Our customers are now able to transact across more channels than before. eBanqo has helped our customers access alternative channels to interact with the bank and other entities of the group and we’ve enjoyed great support flexibility. We remain committed to our brand promise to all our customers, ensuring that the fulfilment of their goals is secure, enjoyable and memorable.”
eBanqo’s omnichannel platform gives businesses a comprehensive view of all customer interactions. These interactions are managed from one dashboard, making it easier to manage interactions. Its analytics feature gives businesses a granular view of interactions across all platforms, arming them with the right data to make better business decisions.
Other functions Bolanle can support with across the messaging apps include; airtime purchase, balance enquiry, and recurring savings.
VFD Microfinance Bank is a member of the VFD Group, a proprietary investment company that focuses on building positive and socially conscious ecosystems by aggregating potentially viable business with the objective of creating innovative products and solutions that are accessible to the everyday Nigerian citizen and entrepreneur.
For more information, visit vbank.ng
eBanqo Inc. is a customer engagement company that empowers businesses to deliver instant and efficient services on messaging channels. eBanqo helps businesses build and deploy AI-powered virtual assistants that handle routine inquiries, support self-service options, and live chat on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, webchat, and other messaging apps.
For more information, visit www.ebanqo.com
Here’s why Leadway Pensure PFA should manage your Retirement Savings Account
With several pension fund administrators to pick from, here are 4 reasons why Leadway Pensure PFA Limited should be your first choice.
Retirement Savings Account (RSA) holders with Leadway Pensure have every reason to smile as the firm continues to deliver excellent customer service and more importantly, high yield on investments.
In October, for instance, all RSA funds across multiple investments in the company outperformed their stipulated benchmarks. RSA I had 32% annualized return against a 25% benchmark; RSA II returned 25% against a 23% benchmark; RSA III returned 20% against a 15% benchmark, and RSA IV returned 18% against a 9% benchmark. This is really impressive, especially during this time of economic uncertainties.
Interestingly, the National Pension Commission has just opened the transfer window for RSA holders to freely transfer from their existing PFA to another one.
This transfer between PFAs can only happen once a year and is designed to help RSA holders assert the right to choose a Pension Fund Administrator with excellent service delivery and great returns.
What this signals is that there is absolutely no reason to keep a fund manager that does not offer competitive returns or does not give you a wholesome pension experience.
With several pension fund administrators to pick from, however, it could be daunting deciding on which administrator to go with. You need not be flustered!
Here are 4 reasons why Leadway Pensure PFA Limited should be your first choice.
- Brand Heritage – Leadway Pensure is part of the Leadway Group, a strong brand that has led the non-banking financial sector for 50 years. You see? Track record is top notch! Beyond that, Leadway Pensure is one of the most capitalized PFA’s in Nigeria with an authorized share capital of N2.0 Billion and shareholder’s fund in excess of N4.0 Billion, unimpaired by losses.
- Competitive Returns – Leadway Pensure has consistently delivered returns above the inflation rate, thereby preserving the wealth of its customers. If you care about the returns on your investments, then Leadway Pensure is the right place to be
- Customer Service – Leadway Pensure has won the best PFA in customer service back to back. Talk about excellent service delivery? Simply unrivaled!
- Accessibility – Online Enrolment Portal, Mobile App, Interactive SMS, Pensure Online (P-Online), SureCal (Pensure Calculator) are all platforms that give you transparent access to your funds and your manager.
With Leadway Pensure PFA, you are assured of returns on investment and value protection from economic downturn.
Need we say more? Choose Leadway Pensure PFA – choose comfort and wealth!
Visit https://joinus.leadway-pensure.com/ to learn more about how to move your Retirement Savings Account to us.
Visa report highlights ecommerce as key to unlocking merchant revenue growth during the festive season
According to the VCA report, most small businesses have taken bold steps to prepare for the seasonal sales activity that kicks-off with Black Friday.
If small businesses can provide easy access to information, frictionless payments, a simple returns policy, and personalized shopping options, they are likely to have an immediate advantage in the marketplace.
This is according to Visa Consulting & Analytics (VCA) report titled Accelerating the shift to eCommerce, where 81% of customers indicated they are willing to pay more for a good customer experience.
“Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) that leverage eCommerce solutions; which provide excellent online shopping experience for consumers; have the opportunity to benefit from high spend periods like Black Friday and the coming festive season compared to businesses who have not mastered the importance of holistic back-end design of the customer journey,” says Kemi Okusanya, Vice President, Visa West Africa.
The move to increased online shopping comes on the back of most retailers driving their customers online due to different lockdown restrictions that affected in store foot traffic. Visa’s Covid 19 Impact Tracker, released earlier this year showed that up to 68% of consumers were going to grocery stores less often. As the retail sector looks to driving recovery, the approach to periods like Black Friday has also evolved and further necessitated safer, better online payment experiences.
“The impact of a bad payment experience can be devastating. When a shopper abandons an online shopping cart due to checkout friction, the data shows that 67% end up leaving for a competitor or never complete the purchase anywhere, and 59% say they are less likely to shop with that same retailer again,” adds Okusanya.
It’s encouraging that most small businesses (60%), according to the VCA report, have taken bold steps to prepare for the seasonal sales activity that kicks-off with Black Friday. The preparation includes changing their infrastructure and digitizing their business.
“The VCA report highlights how the payment experience is a critical touchpoint – a part of the customer journey, which requires special attention. Each time a potential customer reaches the checkout page, they have a moment to reflect on whether the effort needed to make the payment is equal to the value they get from their purchase. To win prospective and repeat customers, SMBs need to have a digital presence during the discovery and evaluation stages of the customer shopping journey,” concludes Okusanya.
Digital payments provide a convenient and secure way to pay for customers. For businesses, they reduce the friction arising from handling money, limit customer queuing, grow their customer base as a result of enhanced experience and eventually improve sales and profitability. As online shopping becomes the norm for consumers and businesses continue on the road to economic recovery, digital payment and in particular frictionless e-commerce experiences, will become a competitive advantage for small businesses.
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network – enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, https://www.visa.com.ng/ and @VisaAfrica.
Groupfarma develops own Sesame seeds drier
Groupfarma has once again set the pace by developing its own sesame seeds drying machine.
A major challenge with the cultivation of Sesame in South-Western Nigeria is the inadequacy of the non-rainy drying period offered by nature in a year for the post-harvest processing of sesame pods.
Groupfarma has once again set the pace by developing its own sesame seeds drying machine. This feat was achieved with the help of a Nigerian Agricultural Engineer, Engineer Dr. Babatunde Oduntan of the University of Ibadan. Dr. Oduntan took the specifications of the sesame seeds into consideration in designing and creating the machine, such that the quality of the seeds is retained through the artificial drying process without denaturing the produce.
With this drying machine, Groupfarma is able to maintain the quality of its sesame seeds, produce more seeds in a year as they can now plant all year round, increase its returns due to more production, enhance time management as more seeds can now be dried faster, curb deforestation by maximizing limited plots of land to plant and replant the seeds.
The visit to the Groupfarma Lanlate farm is captured in the videos linked below: