Nigerian banks, have earned regional respect from peers over their innovations that have changed the face of banking in West Africa.
According to Business Day, the banks are spreading to other West African countries and they have started introducing banking technologies previously not used.
The report by the Newspaper said that as an example, Ecobank Sierra Leone recently launched a set of online banking services, including real-time transaction notifications via e-mail and (Short Message Service) (SMS) which Charles Ganda, the bank’s telecommunication administrator in Sierra Leone, had indicated was the first of its kind in that country.
According to the administrator, said “We recently sent a message to customers who had signed up for online banking, alerting them that they could now access their accounts 24 hours a day and this innovation was new to many of the customers in Sierra Leone.
“The notification system is the first of its kind in Sierra Leone. Internet banking services allow for balance inquiry, funds transfers to other accounts in the same financial institution, downloading of transaction information, bill payment, loan applications, and check book and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card requests.”
According to the report though Sierra Leone Commercial Bank offers similar online banking services; Nigerian banks have gained greater prominence for their network of branches covering many countries, including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria.
ATMs are another new service from Nigerian banks. The machines allow withdrawals, print statements and offer access to account balances.
Just about a month ago, The Analyst newspaper of Liberia had indicated in a report that Ecobank, which had been operating in Liberia several years ago, introduced the automated teller machines to its Monrovia customers, a feat that is novel to that country.