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How Ecommerce came through for Nigerians in 2020



The year 2020 has been a year like no other, no thanks to Covid-19 pandemic and the accompanying restrictive measures which unleashed a far-reaching socio-economic impact on businesses globally. Firms and businesses were sent to survival mode while many who couldn’t cope were forced out of business. Most affected are Micro Small and Medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) who are the major economy drivers.

Interestingly, the year also turned out to be the one where the world came to a consensus on the importance of technology to the human race. In the heat of lockdown and social distancing measures that limited human physical contact and activities, technology based services served as the bridge between the virtual and human divide.

At the time when guidelines were strict, consumers stayed home and did their shopping online. Ecommerce and its chain of services were crucial to survival across the globe. Logistics services of ecommerce platforms partnered with governments, especially in Africa, in the movement and distribution of drugs and other medical equipment during the lockdown. Purchase and delivery of essential products were made accessible and affordable to customers via platforms like Jumia during lockdown.

For small businesses, the framework for ecommerce operations which is flexible, cost effective, and offers wider reach- was crucial for their survival at the time. It will be recalled that big brands in the FMCG sector also deployed ecommerce to their advantage during the lockdown to reach a wider audience and make more sales.

As a result of the belt tightening implications of the pandemic, getting consumers to part with their hard earned money became tougher for brands and sellers. The pandemic orchestrated a change in consumer behavior guided by a shrewd spending pattern. For every penny spent, the best deal and value is demanded. There’s less spending with consumers prioritising the essentials. Smart businesses and brands were able to know that the best way to have a share of customers’ pockets is to offer them an avenue to spend less for more.

The topsy turvy economic year is however ending on an exciting note for customers and sellers alike. The final months of the year are known for shopping events and campaigns that serve as windows for sellers to reach more customers and in turn make more sales. One of such effective platforms is the Black Friday sales which is a global phenomenon.  For Jumia partners, the last four Fridays served as an avenue to close the revenue gap created by the COVID-19 lockdown. The period also provided customers the opportunity to get better deals and save more on their choice products, as Jumia and other etail platforms partnered with global brands and SMEs to thrill customers with products at discounted prices.

Though Black Friday sales have ended on major ecommerce platforms, the sales have ushered in the season of giving, and the excitement is expected to continue into the festive period. And going by the trend of partnership and alliances brands continue to form with ecommerce platforms, the festive season holds thrilling prospects for ecommerce customers. The year 2020 despite all its uncertainties looks like ending on a winning note for both buyers and sellers.





First of Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s leading financial inclusion services provider has launched the Virtual Payment card, a Naira denominated debit card and digital representation of the plastic debit card. The card is designed to be linked to either a customer’s operative account or wallet account.

The FirstBank Virtual Payment Card is a suitable alternative to the use of cash and cheques, with its wide-range features which  include the ability of cardholders to protect his/her card using the block and unblock capabilities; PIN Reset; Change PIN as well as view statement at one’s convenience. It also enables diaspora customers to spend from his/her FirstBank account within the spend limit advised by the bank without the need for a physical card.

The FirstBank Virtual Payment Card is a safe, convenient, and easy way of making e-commerce payments amongst other functionalities.

The Virtual Payment Card can be created via the Bank’s leading digital channels; FirstMobile or Firstmonie Wallet applications. Customers can download the card, activate the card and consummate transactions all at once from the comfort of their homes/offices. No branch visit is required. Customers are advised to update their mobile application to the latest version, then select Card Services on the FirstMobile App and My Virtual Card application to create a Virtual Card at the cost of N215 (VAT Inclusive).

Speaking on the launch, Mr. 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”

“The Virtual Payment Card is also designed to guard against the spread of the COVID-19 as it does not require physical interaction between the customer and FirstBank Branches. We enjoin our customers to download the application and stay ahead in modern banking,” he concluded.

Similarly, FirstBank recently launched the FAST Track ATM, the next generation ATM and first of its kind in Africa, designed to promote financial activities on the ATM without any form of physical interaction with the machine.

For more information on the Virtual Payment Card, kindly click here for the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

About FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is the premier Bank in West Africa and the leading financial inclusion services provider in Nigeria for over 126 years.

With over 750 business locations and over 86,300 Banking Agents spread across 99% of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria, FirstBank provides a comprehensive range of retail and corporate financial services to serve its over 30 million customers. The Bank has international presence through its subsidiaries, FBN Bank (UK) Limited in London and Paris, FBNBank in the Republic of Congo, Ghana, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra-Leone and Senegal, as well as a Representative Office in Beijing.

The Bank has been handy at promoting digital payment in the country and has issued over 10million cards, the first bank to achieve such a milestone in the country. FirstBank’s cashless transaction drive extends to having more than 10million people on its USSD Quick Banking service through the nationally renowned *894# Banking code and over 4.5 million people on FirstMobile platform.

Since its establishment in 1894, FirstBank has consistently built relationships with customers focusing on the fundamentals of good corporate governance, strong liquidity, optimised risk management and leadership. Over the years, the Bank has led the financing of private investment in infrastructure development in the Nigerian economy by playing key roles in the Federal Government’s privatisation and commercialisation schemes. With its global reach, FirstBank provides prospective investors wishing to explore the vast business opportunities that are available in Nigeria, an internationally competitive world-class brand and a credible financial partner.

FirstBank has been named “Most Valuable Bank Brand in Nigeria” six times in a row (2011 – 2016) by the globally renowned “The Banker Magazine” of the Financial Times Group; “Best Retail Bank in Nigeria” for seven consecutive years (2011 – 2017) by the Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards and “Best Bank in Nigeria” by Global Finance for 15 years. Our brand purpose is always to put customers, partners and stakeholders at the heart of our business, even as we standardise customer experience and excellence in financial solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, in consonance with our brand vision “To be the partner of the first choice in building your future”. Our brand promise is always to deliver the ultimate “gold standard” of value and excellence. This commitment is anchored on our inherent values of passion, partnership and people, to position You First in every respect.

Folake Ani-Mumuney

Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications

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Ecobank Partners Ultima Studios To Support Nigerian Entrepreneurs



Ecobank Nigeria says it is partnering Ultima Studios on the Lions’ Den TV reality show to further its aspiration to support entrepreneurs who have good business ideas but need to raise funds for advancement. Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan who stated this in Lagos reiterated Ecobank’s commitment to be the foremost financial institution in the country providing thought leadership within the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) space and also supporting them with access to financial products and services to succeed.  Ecobank is the Lead Sponsor of the TV reality show hitting TV screens in 2021.


Lions’ Den which is being packaged and produced in Nigeria by Ultima Limited, a leading reality television programmes producer in West Africa, is a spinoff of the popular ‘Dragons Den’ and ‘Shark Tank’ in the UK and US respectively. The TV show brings together budding entrepreneurs and innovators with seasoned investors and business leaders to create an avenue where compelling best ideas are supported and funded.


Mr. Akinwuntan said he is optimistic that the show would attract the target group including established SMEs seeking seed or expansion capital , aspiring entrepreneurs and young graduates with bright business ideas. He reiterated that the TV show has a proven track record of appealing to both male and female audiences across the globe.


“ SMEs and entrepreneurs in the country are looking for a viable partner that will help them build sustainable businesses. Customers have become more discerning, they are not looking for any partner, but the right partner – one that is not just providing financial support but is investing in their growth; this is what Ecobank represents. We have been actively supporting SMEs because we recognise them as the engine of growth of any economy.  This TV show will further create more entrepreneurs. We are pleased to partner with Ultima Limited who have a pedigree of producing  world class programmes such as ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’ and ‘Project Fame West Africa’. We believe the target group will embrace the programme and at the end of the day, we will achieve our objectives of supporting small businesses and helping aspiring entrepreneurs in the country realize their dreams.”


Recently, the Chief Executive Officer, Ultima Studios, Femi Ayeni said he has reached an agreement with UK-based Sony Pictures Television to produce the Nigerian version of the globally acclaimed business reality television show, ‘Lions’ Den’. He said the show, the first of its kind in Nigeria, is a variation of the original show that was first aired in Japan and has now been produced in over 30 countries. The show targets entrepreneurs who have good business ideas but need to raise funds to advance their business. According to him, Ultima’s choice of Lions’ Den is a celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians, adding that the programme will not only provide exciting viewing for viewers at home,  but also provide an opportunity for serious entrepreneurs to attract much-needed investments.


Lions’ Den is the world’s number one business reality show – adapted in over 30 countries worldwide. In summary, five investors listen to pitches from budding and innovative entrepreneurs who present their innovative ideas/ business plans in return for capital. Entrepreneurs with successful pitches on the show do not only obtain investments but also acquire mentors and partners for the lifespan of their business. The show, which appeals to adults 18 -54 years, generates consumer engagement opportunities as well as long term business relationships with participants, both on and off the show. It provides a platform for business education, directly and indirectly expanding on several business concepts such as investments, demand and supply,  branding, business accounting and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs on the show and those viewing the show will acquire insightful business knowledge, through the questions, comments and suggestions offered by the Lions over the course of the show.

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Access Bank renews commitment to customer education and Satisfaction, Announces Revised Customer Complaint Channels



Driven by its promise to deliver unrivalled customer service to all its customers, Access Bank Plc has announced an extension of its customer education and complaint management activities.

Over the years, Access Bank has strived to reach all audience tiers and communities, communicating and simplifying information on how customer-related bottlenecks can be resolved.

According to Ogor Chukudebelu, the Chief Customer Experience Officer at Access Bank Plc, the institution’s efforts are borne out of the desire to “heighten the public’s consciousness and radically improve awareness of the vast array of resources available to them as we strive to improve their banking experiences.”

“In today’s fast-paced society, there is an increased demand for information. Information that not only helps draw the institution closer to its customers but also make banking convenient for customers .

As a customer-centric bank, we appreciate feedback from our customers to help us resolve any issues they have. The feedback also serves to improve and enhance their banking experience. Therefore, we have various platforms where customers can lodge their complaints or give suggestions. We will continue to avail all customers with in the option of using their preferred complaint lodgment medium,” he added.

All Access Bank customers can henceforth have their complaints lodged and resolved swiftly through the following channels:


Live chat:

Social media: Facebook (@AccessBankPlc), Twitter (@accessbank_help) and Instagram (@myaccessbank)


WhatsApp Banking: 08089019019

Contact center telephone: 07003000000, 01-2802500, 01-2712005-7


Access Bank is commited to giving its customers best -in-class services and providing a seamless banking experience for all its customers across the globe.

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