Ecobank: The Pan-African Bank

Ecobank is an eco-friendly institution that has striven to uphold sustainability right across 35 countries in Middle Africa and other countries where it has presence outside Africa, helping customers, governments and other stakeholders to manage their economic, financial, environmental and social. ODUNEWU SEGUN writes

ECOBANK Nigeria started operations in 1986 as a universal bank, and has grown consistently over the years to become a well-recognised corporate brand in the Nigerian banking industry.

A subsidiary of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), its acquisition of 100 per cent shareholding in Oceanic Bank in 2011 saw its asset base increase tremendously to well over $6.174 billion. Presently, with over 610 free-standing branches, it is Nigeria’s second-largest bank by branch network.

With operations in 36 countries in Africa, and licensed operation in Paris and representative offices in Beijing, Dubai, Johannesburg, London and Luanda, Ecobank Group is harnessing its pan-African Platform and customer experience to catalyse transformation through financial services in Africa.

While providing wholesale, retail, corporate, investment and transaction banking services, Ecobankoffers a natural advantage with its unmatched pan-African banking competencies, built up over the last 25 years. Marshalling its impressively broad presence, its proficiency and its performance, the bank is intent on delivering sustainable returns and playing a catalytic role in the transformation of Africa.

The bank’s focus is on providing solutions-oriented, high quality products and services to its customers, comprising of individuals, small and medium scale companies, large local corporates, parastatals, non-governmental organisations and multi-national companies.

State-of-the-art technology, excellent customer service and a reliable telecommunication system constitute the backbone of the Group’s product delivery strategy. In addition to the traditional products and services, Ecobank offers innovative products and services including Mobile Banking, Remittance, Internet Banking, and the Pan-African Card payment gateway.

The aim is to consistently offer customers efficient, reliable and excellent service, and the Group operates a ”One Bank” construct, which aims at standardising the Group’s processes and procedures irrespective of geographical location or language differences.

Ecobank’s unique and largest pan-African platform is designed to help unlock the opportunities of the continent, fueling regional integration, and trade and investment across borders. It has in so many ways aided the growth of businesses either directly or through key partnerships.

Ecobank partners with an array of like-minded stakeholders to drive enterprise on the continent. One of such partnerships in recent times was the signing of memorandum of understanding between the bank and the Bank of Industry (BoI) to cooperate in deepening financial services delivery to micro, small and medium enterprises in Nigeria.

The partnership which has the potential of bringing millions of the unbanked in Nigeria into mainstream financial system, saw Ecobank deploying its distribution network nationwide, comprising branches and an array of digital channels including automated teller machines, -points of service and agency networks across Nigeria. This will make for efficient administration of BoI’s various financial inclusion initiatives covering loan disbursements, collections and monitoring.

Ecobank Nigeria is a key partner in the implementation of BoI’s financial inclusion programmes for poverty alleviation, wealth creation, enterprise promotion, employment generation and other related objectives, the statement added.

It noted that supporting the financially excluded has been a critical part of Ecobank’s strategy.

The bank also had the same agreement with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the European Investment Bank (EIB) with the intention of helping to fill the gap in financing for small and medium sized enterprises in some of Sub-Saharan Africa’s poorest and most fragile countries.

The bank which was named the 2015 Best Corporate Bank in Nigeria has been at the forefront of international trade financing with a mission to ensure that its customers have access to world-class, convenient, accessible and reliable banking solutions in Nigeria and in other countries where it operates.

It has invested hugely in latest technologies that enables it drive the most efficient and largest platform in Africa, ensuring that customers could transact and unlock opportunities with ease.

The bank’s partnership with Mastercard to launch Ecobank Masterpass QR, an enhancement to the Masterpass global digital payment service provided opportunities for millions of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria to accept fast and secure digital payments from consumers for the first time.

With this ingenuity, users of Ecobank’s mobile banking platform are able to safely pay for online and in-store purchases by scanning a Quick Response (QR) code displayed at checkout on their smartphones, or by entering a merchant identifier into their feature phones. Shoppers don’t need to carry cash or their physical bank cards rather they can make fast, safe and simple digital payments using Ecobank Masterpass QR via their mobile banking app on their mobile device anywhere that Masterpass QR is accepted.

This unique service, just one among several other services coupled with Ecobank’s unrivalled pan-African digital network makes it the preferred choice for convenient payment, collections and savings offering to every individual and merchants in Nigeria and beyond.