Given the prevailing economic fundamentals in the country, money deposit banks, like other players in the Nigerian economy are being compelled to review their strategies regularly.
This is because apart from some customer-focused policies being churned out by the Central Bank of Nigeria, almost on a monthly basis, the instability in crude oil price, and the upward swing in the inflation figures, only innovative institutions can effectively weather the storm.
For Heritage Bank Limited, last Wednesday provided an opportunity to reap bountifully from its investment in innovation when it earned the International Standard Organisation, ISO/INEC 27001:2013 certification in recognition of its commitment to effective and secured financial systems.
The bank has also set a record as the first bank in Nigeria to get the award in less than three years of operation. It has, by this certification, joined the league of big players in the industry, including the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN which are ISO/INEC 27001 compliant.
The certification was presented on behalf of the British Government to the bank in Lagos through its Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr. Ray Kyles.
Kyles commended the bank for setting high standards in the financial industry and pledged the continued support of the British government for Nigeria’s financial institutions. “It is not an easy task. This award remains a cornerstone of your reputation,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Ifie Sekibo while receiving the award, noted that banking is a business of risks management, from assets to data, adding that it is fundamental that whatever a customer keeps in a bank is in safe custody. “This is a day to beat our chest. Heritage Bank is an idea, not a bank. We are a service company providing banking service; and we are the best in the class of security of our information systems. It means funds kept with us are safe. This award is a validation of our mission to promote high ethical standards, integrity, and good business practices,” he said.
Solomon Edun, Managing Director of Global Infoswift, the consultant to the project explained that the certification is a rigorous exercise that confers internationally recognised standard on the recipient. He added that the award is the most rigorous certification in terms of information, process/data and asset security.
The certification, he added, will put Heritage Bank in a good stead to protect the funds of its customers and frustrate efforts by fraudsters to access their information and assets.
Over the years, substantial part of banks’ revenues had been lost to fraud with no single bank spared.
Sekibo pointed out that innovation is inevitable for the banking industry. This he said is due to changing dynamics across the globe which has penetrated banking. These changes, he noted are driven by forces of globalisation, self service mobile devices and regulation, adding that the impact of these changes on the Nigerian banking landscape is reflected in the sharp increase in the growth of electronic payment services between 2012 and 2014 in the country.
He noted that, “The volume of e-payment in Nigeria grew from N18.1 trillion in 2012 to N35.1 trillion in 2014. While transactions through PoS increased from N48 billion in 2013 to N312 billion in 2014, Instant Pay transactions increased from N3.8 trillion in 2012 to N19.9 trillion in 2014”. He said that the growth in e-payment however does not mirror the huge population of mobile phone users in the country.