Polaris Bank set to boost Nigerian’s digital banking ecosystem

Reps directs CBN to suspend sale of Polaris Bank

With the rising opportunities in the e-payment systems accelerated by the COVID-19 era sweeping across the world, there are indications that one of Nigeria’s leading retail franchise, Polaris Bank, has thrown its hat into the ring as it unveils a new digital banking App. 

Feelers indicate that the Bank’s new Digital Bank which has for some time been in test mode amongst its staff and customers is set to grow its market share, targeting a new generation of digital natives and immigrants who are socially and financially aware of innovations in self-service and stress-free transactions.    

According to industry players, the long wait which greeted the launch was to ensure that the platform is robust enough to meet prevailing global standards and support other existing entities in the digital banking ecosystem. 

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As part of its enterprise transformation initiatives, the bank has overhauled its IT infrastructure within the last two years and upgraded its digital capability. According to the bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Innocent Ike, “this has seen the institution grow to earn the confidence of the banking publics, as it has been able to offer quality banking services at the cutting edge of technology.” The plaudits which greeted the bank’s recently published 2020 financial performance has further earned the bank’s digital transformation efforts a shot in the arm.

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Polaris Bank’s digital Bank offers a suite of services not readily provided by competitors. Some of such bundled benefits include access to instant loans, accessing the platform service without being a prior customer of the Bank, and end-to-end account opening without entering a physical bank.  One of the competitive benefits of the bank is its creation of a collaborative ecosystem that enables Application Programming Interface (API) Banking. API banking refers to a system that makes a bank’s services available to other third-party companies via APIs. API Banking helps both banks and third-party companies augment their complementary specialties and offerings more than they can provide to their customers by themselves.

Through its API, Polaris Bank is reported to have so far on-boarded new business start-ups, improved their market access, and ensured profit sharing with partners within the financial technology space. The Agro-businesses, educational institutions, e-commerce, are all set to benefit from the Bank’s platform.

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According to recent data released by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), the volume of electronic payment transactions increased by 80 percent year-on-year to 54.07 billion in the first quarter of 2021 from 30.04 billion in the same period of last year.


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