First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank), one of Nigeria’s leading financial services providers, has launched a virtual debit card. The naira-denominated card was designed as a digital representation of the plastic debit card.
According to a statement signed by Folake Ani-Mumuney, FirstBank’s Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, and sent to Financial Nigeria on Monday, the FirstBank Virtual Payment Card was designed to be linked to either customer’s operative account or wallet account. The card serves as a suitable alternative to the use of cash and cheques. Among other functionalities, cardholders can protect their card by using the block and unblock capabilities, reset or change the PIN, as well as view their statement of account at their convenience.
FirstBank said the virtual card is safe, convenient, and serves as an easy way of making e-commerce payments. Diaspora customers of the bank, who subscribe to the card, can spend from their account without the need for a physical card.
Speaking on the launch, Gbenga Shobo, Deputy Managing Director, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, said: “The launch of our Virtual Payment Card is yet another secure and seamless way we promote electronic banking, whilst enabling customers to carry-out their transactions on the web.”
He said the card was also designed to guard against the spread of COVID-19, as it does not require physical interaction between the customer and FirstBank Branches. The new card product came at a time the country was experiencing a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Official data confirmed new peaks of daily infections this month. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported on its Twitter handle, @NCDCgov, 1,244 new infections on January 11, 2021.
FirstBank recently launched another contact-less digital solution, called the FAST Track ATM. The next-generation ATM, which the bank said it was the first to deploy in Africa, was designed to promote financial activities on the ATM without any form of physical interaction with the machine.
FirstBank is one of the oldest banks in Nigeria, where it has been providing financial services for over 126 years. The bank is promoting financial inclusion. Apart from its digital offerings, FirstBank has over 750 business locations and over 86,300 Banking Agents spread across the country and serves over 30 million customers. The bank has subsidiaries in the UK, France, Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.