By Uche Amunike
One of the objectives of the Alex Otti Signature Bank which has just kicked off operations in Nigeria is to strengthen financial inclusion of over 40 million citizens who are either under-banked or without bank accounts in the country.
This was stated by the founder of the Signature Bank, Alex Otti, who averred that he also undertook the project to redefine the banking industry by delivering seamless access to financial services.
According to him, statistics from the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc showed that in May 2022, about 55 million bank accounts were in existence, while about 42 million people did not have access to financial services.
He assured that the Alex Otti Signature Bank would provide personalized duties to such customers with a different kind of mindset, adding that they would operate in an industry that is infused with other competing banks, while filling the customer experience vacuums like no other banks have done in the past.
Hear Alex Otti: ‘Signature Bank came from a yearning for simplicity and ease of doing business and a less than adequate attention to the dynamic needs of the customer, not just within Nigeria, but across continents.’
‘For example, paying your child’s school fees, trading with partners overseas, settling bills without leaving the comfort of your home and making payments seamlessly.’
‘Interestingly, even as banks’ strategies, products and service offerings multiplied, the changing demographics and dynamics had customers increasingly yearning for more and demanding simpler and more flexible digital solutions.’
He added: ‘In all these, what customers expect from their bank is not too tall an order. What customers across different business segments are looking for is a bank that fits their aspirations, their personal stories and their lifestyle.’
‘In other words, customers want a bank that puts them first. So, we set out to build a bank that challenges the status quo, that is future-forward, embraces change and impacts the lives of the people we serve. A bank that leaves no one behind.’
Otti further stated that the move to kick off the Signature Bank project began in 2017 after the management tried to purchase an existing bank and rebuild it to suit its vision. However, after due diligence, they changed their minds about using that approach and made an application to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a fresh banking license.
They received approval from the CBN in December 2021 and proceeded to build ‘a sophisticated bank that will operate without borders, driven by cutting-edge technology and a highly motivated workforce.’
After a thorough process, the CBN approved the issuance of commercial banking to Alex Otti’s Signature Bank in August 2022.
Presently, the bank intends to resume operations in Calabar, Port Harcour, Asaba, Uyo, Onitsha, Sokoto, Kano, Nnewi, Warri, Aba, and Enugu.
The Chairman, Board of Directors of the blank, Mutiu Sunmonu, has harped on the the vision of the bank to impact positively on the lives of customers and revolutionize the banking industry.
His words: ‘I have always been passionate about creating operational efficiencies through digital solutions and service excellence, so it was easy to identify and align our expectations especially in delivering superior customer experience to our customers.’
‘The goal is to give our customers the freedom to bank on the go so that they can do business with us from anywhere, at any time without the need to visit a brick-and-mortar location.’