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Monkey, Bananas And Cash, Why Greater Flexibility Ranks GTBank As Africa’s Digital Banking Leader

The Oasis Reporters

January 17, 2019






Jack Ma, The Richest Man in China once said:
“If you put Bananas and Money in front of Monkeys, Monkeys will choose Bananas because monkeys do not know that Money can buy a lot of Bananas.



Nigeria and Africa’s leading Digital bankers , GTBank would be exalted among those who break rules and set new ones because they are trained to recognize entrepreneurship opportunities.


One of the new trends in entrepreneurship that GTBank quickly recognized and blazed a trail of dollars in is digital business, aptly described by Bill Gates in his book, Business @ The Speed Of Thought as constantly changing.



GTBank recognized that today is not like just another day in 1999 when the internet was not a major part of our life.
Today, fewer people hurdle around newspaper stands to read the news.



The world has become very fast paced, where those that have the information and have the ability to process the information quickly will succeed. Those that do not will fail.



But first, ever tried opening a domiciliary account in any Nigerian bank?


First, your documentation must be up to date in terms of identification, phone number, email, house or business address and two referees. Including your passport photographs.


But that is not all. For a dollar account, you’d be required to deposit $100 that you must not touch, as long as the domiciliary account is in operation. It can as well be £100 or €100. Whichever. From the first bank to open for business in British West Africa to the latest bank in town.
That is their rule, sorry, from the Central Bank of Nigeria.



Then in comes GTBank which understands that not every domiciliary account is for inflow and outflow of US Dollars, or Euros for example.



With the internet revolution and the new way of information flow including the digital business, the financial institution understood that the new entrants into the Digital business do not have foreign currency and only have their laptops, phones, tablets etc as working tools.


And they would be in hundreds of thousands desperately looking for ways to repatriate their legitimate earnings from the Western financial world back to Nigeria and Africa.



GTBank makes it a lot easier for digital business men and women to open domiciliary accounts in whichever currency they so desire. And no $100 deposit. The new customer gets a waiver.



So while other banks are busy implementing their rules to keep their banana deposits, not only would GTBank open the account for a new customer without a single deposit, but would throw in a savings account and another current account to the bargain, for free.


And you’d get an ATM card as interest free loan. Payable when you earn your first 1,050 Naira. That’s all.


Therefore, while some other banks are implementing archaic rules, almost 80 percent of digital business men and women have accounts with GTBank. And with the unsolicited for, extra Savings and Current accounts for each domiciliary account holder, other banks remain just that, the other banks. GTBank makes itself the main bank.


And how do they make their money in the digital economy?


Take the newspaper industry for instance. Fewer and fewer Nigerians buy them at the news stands these days. Unlike in 1999. Today, people read news on their digital platforms. Perhaps a phone, tablet or laptop. With hundreds of thousands of bloggers worldwide, news is now at your fingertips.



Still, Google Adsense serves advertising content only on their approved blogger partners who must have passed through the rigorous qualifying criteria.



As you read the news or watch the video on website partners platforms, Google serves adverts. Therefore while you read the news for free and see the adverts, the website gets paid in foreign currency.



Getting the money home to Nigerian bloggers at home becomes the issue. Therefore solving that knotty problem of getting a domiciliary account by GTBank has made them the darling of all Digital content providers. Reason the bank is often awash with foreign exchange to lend to industry for Nigeria’s economic growth. They entice their customers to sell them the Dollars or Euros that trickle in every day.

Consider this Report:

Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) has revealed that it is atop a new generation of multinationals in developing markets with the competitive strength and capacity to become a major player in the global scene.



A statement from the bank quoted the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the research and analysis division of The Economist, to have revealed this.



The bank, which operates out of 10 African countries and the United Kingdom, was one of 12 companies, selected from four continents and spanning six industries, that the EIU believes has the strategy and potential to dominate domestic markets and expand its business outlays internationally.



In its report, “Going Global: 12 Companies to Watch in Developing Markets,” the EIU said “Guaranty Trust Bank is leading the digital banking race in Sub-Saharan Africa by getting more customers to bank online, reducing the communication gap with its customers and allowing customers to conduct 90 per cent of their banking transactions from home.”



“The lender’s digital services extend beyond banking to online payments for services such as applying for passports,” the EIU report added, whilst also stating that, “in traditional banking, GTBank has held its ground despite falling interest income and assets.”



Regarded by industry watchers as one of the best run African financial institutions, GTBank has been the major driver of digital banking in Africa.



The bank is renowned for constantly delivering innovative financial products and services, such as its full-service USSD banking product, 737, which enables customers and non-customers access financial services on their phones, by simply dialing *737#, and the SMEMarkethub, a free online marketplace for people to buy and sell at no extra cost, amongst several others. Recently, the bank achieved another first in digital services in Africa when it announced that it will be leveraging the WhatsApp Business Solution to enable customers bank as easy and swiftly as they chat.



“By being at the forefront of Africa’s digital banking market and maintaining its leadership in traditional banking, the EIU said GTBank and all of the companies profiled in its report are well positioned and have the ambition, business acumen and capacity to go big, globally,” it added.



The report also noted that GTBank and the others have their work cut out for them. “They will have to counter ongoing global trade disputes and a rise in protectionism. With the tightening of global monetary conditions, there will also be considerable economic and competitive risks involved in investing in some market.



See how GTBank tantalize and make their customers swoon:



“At the beginning of year 2018, we made a promise to you that we would play a deeper role in the lives of our customers, providing more value wherever we can and offering greater flexibility wherever we must.



Pursuing this promise through the course of the year has brought many memorable moments that we have been very honoured to share with you. Among these are hosting more than 250,000 customers at the GTBank Food and Drink Fair, bringing together over 150,000 guests for the GTBank Fashion Weekend, unveiling ‘Habari’ – our revolutionary digital platform that connects you to everything you need, and, most importantly, being there for every single transaction that you successfully carried out in 2018.



We sincerely cherish all the moments that we shared with you during the year. It means everything to us that you remain confident in our ability to provide you with a customer experience that transcends Banking.



We are ready, willing and able to do more for you in 2019. You are, after all, the sole reason we exist.


Thank you for a memorable 2018.”


By Greg Abolo

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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