Ebenezer Onyeagwu: Elevating Retail Banking at Zenith

Nosa Alekhuogie writes on Zenith Bank Plc’s initiative to expand its reach in the retail banking segment of the financial market

As part of efforts to expand its reach in the retail segment of the bank sector, Zenith Bank Plc under the leadership of Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, recently introduced another season of its savings promo. The bank which remains a clear leader in the digital space with several firsts in deploying innovative products, solutions and an assortment of alternative channels that ensure convenience, speed and safety of transactions, has been making significant foray in the retail banking space since Onyeagwu was appointed. This is evidenced by the remarkable growth in transaction volumes and value across its digital platforms and strong growth in customer acquisition.

That was why in order to entrench itself in the retail segment of the market, Zenith Bank recently re-introduced its Zenith Bank Beta Life Promo Season 3.

The Zenith Bank Beta Life Promo Season 3 is a bi-weekly raffle promo wherein the bank offers gifts worth N150,000 each to 20 customers from June 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024. The raffle draws hold on second and fourth Friday of each month.

To qualify, one is expected to open a Zenith Bank account; fund the account with a minimum of N5,000 for the period; request and collect a Zenith Bank Debit Card (virtual or physical), and download and register on the Zenith Bank MobileApp or register for *966# EazyBanking.

Rewards would be allocated to the winning accounts chosen via raffle draw by the bank’s computer programme designed specifically for the purpose of the promotion. The random selection and allocation of prizes to the respective winning customers would be verified by external auditors. Customers must maintain an active account with N5,000, get a card and register for USSD or download the mobile app to become a winner.

“If you do not have a current or savings account with us, or have a dormant or zero balance account, this is the best time to open an account, fund or reactivate your account to win exciting rewards every week. Rewards will be allocated to the winning accounts chosen via raffle draw by our computer program designed specifically for the purpose of the Promotion.

“The random selection and allocation of Prizes to the respective Winning Customers will be verified by external auditors. Customers must maintain an active account with N5000, get a card and register for USSD or download the mobile app to become a winner. You can open an account by just dialing *966# on your phone and following the prompts, or you can open an account on our website,” the bank stated.

Indeed, one of the best ways for individuals to take charge of their finances in today’s uncertain economy is to develop a healthy savings culture. Although seemingly, not a priority early in life, experts believe everyone (especially young people) should make it a priority to save and invest early, as being encouraged by Zenith Bank through the promo.

The savings promo initiative was one out of the numerous initiatives introduced by Onyeagwu, to ensure the financial institution retains its leadership position in the industry.

Inspiring in silence and action, Onyeagwu is a sure-footed leader of men with a sense of corporate clairvoyance. He makes today’s Zenith Bank ticks, illustrated by the bank’s financial performance, agile organisation, enduring conducive corporate culture and cordial stakeholders’ relations. Since assuming the Zenith Bank’s mantle of leader on June 1, 2019, Onyeagwu’s myriad of exploits have solidified his sterling leadership qualities which reflects in the numerous domestic and international awards the bank has won.

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 For instance, few weeks ago, it was double honours for Zenith Bank Plc at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as the bank was named the Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria for the third year running and Best Corporate Governance Bank, Nigeria, for a second consecutive year at the World Finance Awards 2023. The awards were presented to the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Zenith Bank Plc, Dr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, at the LSE. The recognitions celebrated the bank’s tremendous feats and milestones in financial performance, financial inclusion, corporate governance, and sustainability.

Commenting on the awards, Onyeagwu had said they were testament to Zenith Bank’s resilience and ability to adapt to the vagaries of the market as well as its innate capability to engender very stellar business performances through its innovative products and solutions.

“It also affirms our continued commitment to global best practices in corporate governance, sustainability and corporate social responsibility,” he added and dedicated the awards to the Founder and Group Chairman, Jim Ovia, and thanked him for his mentorship and for establishing the basis for a resilient and highly successful institution.

He had also expressed gratitude to the board for their exceptional leadership, vision, and insight; to the staff for their unwavering commitment and dedication; and to the bank’s customers for making Zenith their preferred bank.

Beside the savings promo, Zenith Bank had also introduced an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered Chatbot on WhatsApp named ZIVA (Zenith Intelligent Virtual Assistant), which enables customers to perform financial transactions and enjoy real-time customer service from their mobile phones.

With this solution, customers would be able to enroll by simply adding the bank’s verified WhatsApp mobile number 07040004422 on their mobile devices, agree to the legal terms of use and then initiate a conversation.

This product provides the convenience for the bank’s customers to interact and transact on a 24 hours basis on the encrypted WhatsApp platform, it added.

With the capability to respond to chats/queries anchored on the existing WhatsApp platform, customers would be able to open new accounts, receive instant transaction notifications, check their balances on the go, transfer funds and top up airtime. They would also be able to confirm cheques, pay bills, apply for loans, block their accounts, and request mini statements, amongst other banking services.

The launch of ZIVA was driven by the need for additional secured channels of communication with customers as part of efforts to deepen retail penetration.

Since the behavioural pattern of the modern customer dictates that they want to engage with brands over the channel of their choice, it was really important for Zenith Bank to implement the solution in order to continue to create value for our teeming customers who incidentally were already using WhatsApp as a primary channel of communication.

The strategic objective of Zenith Bank includes a continuous improvement of its capacity to meet customers’ increasing and dynamic financial needs as well as sustain high quality growth through investments that impact the quality of service to our existing and potential customers, constant upgrade of its ICT infrastructure, unwavering investment in training and re-training of its people and regular reinforcing of its customer services delivery charter with regards to continually changing customer needs.

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Since its establishment in May 1990, Zenith Bank has continued to blaze the trail in digital banking in Nigeria; scoring several firsts in the deployment of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure to create innovative products that meet the needs of its teeming customers.

The bank is verifiably a leader in the deployment of various channels of banking technology, and the Zenith brand has become synonymous with the deployment of state-of-the-art technologies in banking. Driven by a culture of excellence and strict adherence to global best practices, the Bank has combined vision, skillful banking expertise, and cutting-edge technology to create products and services that anticipate and meet customers’ expectations; enable businesses to thrive and grow wealth for customers.

Zenith Bank Plc, founded by Ovia, in 1990, has since grown astronomically to become one of the leading financial institutions in Africa. Today, the Bank continues to thrive on the strong values, brand equity, corporate culture of professionalism and service excellence which are the foundations upon which the bank was built.

Additionally, Zenith Bank has clearly distinguished itself in the banking industry through superior quality service, unique customer experience, and sound financial indices. These have become part of its corporate culture to the extent that the bank is easily associated with the following attributes; Best-in-class customer experience, creativity, excellent financial performance, good asset quality, stable management, dedicated and highly skilled work-force, cutting-edge Information and Communication Technology, efficient and effective distribution channels.

The bank’s strategy of assessing and managing its impact on the industry forms an integral part of its strategic objective. Specifically, the bank considers how the present and future capital requirements will be met and managed in view of projected capital requirements based on its assessment and against the regulatory capital requirement.

Zenith Bank places high premium on the pivotal role of exceptional service delivery in its drive to consistently exceed expectations. The bank has in place a well-articulated strategy to not only meet and surpass customer expectation, but also ensure that plans are fine-tuned to address the changing taste and sophistication of its customers. The underlying philosophy is for the bank to remain at all times, a Customer-centric institution with a clear understanding of its market and environment.

The bank’s impressive growth pattern and performance over the years have earned it excellent ratings, recognitions and endorsement from local and international agencies and institutions.

Today, Zenith is undoubtedly one of Nigeria’s strongest financial services institutions and one of the country’s largest banks by market capitalisation, shareholders fund and profitability. The bank’s growth momentum has increased over time and impacted positively on its standing as a market leader. In essence, Zenith Bank continues to make remarkable success on the sustainability agenda which is at the heart of its strategic and business models.

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