Recent interest and growth in social media is driving banks to learn more about online social platforms and how social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter can help them to engage customers and build their brand.
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank), one of the most innovative banks in Nigeria, which has been a pioneer in the use of social media in Nigeria is now looking to leverage on these social platforms to allow its customers to make transactions and engage in related financial services.
Starting from next year, the bank says it would offer “a very convenient way to view your account balance, get airtime recharge, perform money transfers, pay bills, and open additional accounts”, through its Facebook page, which has over 780,000 likes to date.
The service which it calls ‘Social Banking‘ would likely be a Facebook application that connects its banking system to Facebook’s social graph and make the process of transferring money to your friends, family, employees, clients or partners and withdrawing funds social and fun.
It is uncertain whether there would be any transaction charges, but my guess is that you might be charged a flat rate per month, say N100, for using the service just like you would if you use your bank’s ATM service monthly.
If launched, GTBank would be the first commercial bank in Nigeria to integrate a peer-to-peer payment system via any social platform allowing a Facebook user to pay another Facebook user online.
With over 6 million Facebook users in Nigeria with the potential to reach 10 million users by year-end 2013, I think this is a great move by GTBank to reach the youth who spend more and more time on Facebook and other social platforms than any other place these days.
Since 2009, when GTBank embraced social media, they have been at the forefront and can easily be described as one of the best corporate brand use of social media in Nigeria.