Nadia van de Walle Anne Agbakoba
The Joys of Financial Inclusion
Nigeria Sets its Sights Financial Inclusion
FirstBank interview Page 7
Mobile Money Deployment: Africa
Bukkie Allison Daniel Monehin
Commi!ed to Cashless
Which Credit Card? Top 10 Travel Tips
Firstbank Debit & Creit Cards
African Cities: Economic Growth Potential
Transferring to a be!er way of Life
Diamond Bank interview
Diamond Bank Visa Credit cards
Pages 9 - 10
eBanking Africa September, 2013
Card is secure for transactions on all electronic banking channels like Web, ATM and POS worldwide
Visit www.firstbanknigeria.com for more details
Mobile Money Deployments: Africa
eBanking Africa September, 2013
The Joys of Financial Inclusion Conventional ‘wisdom’ suggests that lower-income earners have no reason to own a bank account - yet the truth is that “branchless banking” holds much promise for this segment of society. Through the provision of basic financial services to the financially underserved and excluded, branchless banking has the potential to alleviate poverty in the following ways: 1. The poor will begin to save more: no longer having ready access to cash under their mattresses means that money is less likely to be spent. 2. They are better able to plan and use funds to other necessary developmental areas such as education 3. They are also better able to handle emergencies, such as unplanned health expenses 4. Being part of the formal financial system gives the unbanked access to a large number of other financial services that would otherwise not be available to them. Given that mobile phone penetration outweighs bank penetration in Africa, the mobile device is quickly becoming a full-fledged banking channel where loans and even mortgages can be provided – excluded people can finally have unprecedented access to a range of financial services. Just ask Kenya, a poster child for m-Banking success in Africa - some 17 million of Kenya’s 19 million adults are signed up to M-PESA, a simple phonebased service operated by Safaricom that acts as a bank account and debit card. The latest M-PESA innovation, called “Lipa Kodi na M-PESA”, enables rent collection/ payment services via the mobile channel.
Cards According to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, the urban population of Africa is expected to triple by 2050 to 1.23 billion (from 395 million in 2009), by which time 60% of all Africans will be living in cities or urban areas. Out of 19 cities on the continent, Accra, Lusaka and Luanda offer the highest growth potential in Sub-Saharan Africa (see map). This presents a major opportunity to haul the majority of Africans (including
We are committed to understanding the needs and challenges that consumers, businesses and ﬁnancial institutions face as we partner with local stakeholders to enable economic growth through the increased adoption of electronic payments. African nations have taken the lead in moving toward a world beyond cash that is also a world of greater ﬁnancial inclusion and economic empowerment
the unbanked) into participation in the global economy. MasterCard is taking quick advantage: in South Africa, the company has just issued 10 million debit cards to replace cash for social grant recipients. In Nigeria, it is about to star a pilot under which13 million national identity smart cards will be issued. A report by Moody’s Analytics (www.moodys.com) shows that payment cards are not just convenient and inclusive – they also help stimulate growth for economies - card usage raises consumption, and consumption contributes to GDP growth. For governments, cards reduce the loss in tax revenue, arising from unreported or under-reported business income. Last but not least, cash handling and printing are unnecessary huge expenses.
Measurement What you can’t measure, you can’t intelligently pursue or conclude. We can learn a thing or two from India, a country that sees the importance of measuring the status of a financial inclusion (FI) plan. In June this year, India’s top credit rating and research company, CRISIL (www.crisil.com), launched an index to measure its FI status. The index, CRISIL Inclusix is a one-of-its-kind tool that combines three critical parametres of basic banking services - branch penetration, deposit penetration, and credit penetration – to assess the extent of inclusion in India, right down to each of the country’s 632 districts.
Conclusion Experts agree that cash is expensive and inefficient – and yet 85% of the world’s transactions are still conducted in cash. The good news is that the race to go cashless is resulting not only in increased competition amongst financial services providers, but also in the introduction of new technologies, products, and even managerial techniques. The big promise of Africa can be realised if it can grow its electronic payment systems.
Michael Miebach President, MasterCard Middle East and Africa
Mobile Money Deployment in Africa Morocco: 2 • MobiCash | Maroc Telecom (Vivendi) • MéditelCash | Meditel
Tunisia: 2 • mdinar | Viamobile • Mobiflouss | Tunisiana (Wataniya)
• Zaad | Telesom, Somaliland
Egypt: 1 • Flous | Etisalat
• e-maal | NationLink Telecom • Sahal | Golis Telecom Kenya: 5 • Airtel Money | Airtel (Bharti Airtel) • Iko Pesa | Orange (Telkom Kenya) • M-PESA | Safaricom
Djibouti: 1 • Mobicash | Djibouti Telecom
• Tangaza | Mobile Pay Ltd
Senegal: 3 • Orange Money | Orange (Sonatel) • W@ri | CSI • Yoban’tel | Société Générale de Banques au Sénégal
• yucash | yu (Essar Telecom) • Airtel Money | Airtel (Bharti Airtel) • ezyPesa | Zantel (Etisalat) • M-PESA | Vodacom • Tigo Pesa | Tigo (Millicom)
Guinea-Bissau: 1 • MTN MobileMoney | MTN Sierra Leone: 2 • Airtel Money | Airtel (Bharti Airtel) • Splash Cash | Splash Cash Liberia: 1 • Mobile Money | Lonestar (MTN) Mali: 1 • Orange Money | Orange
Uganda: 7 • Airtel Money | Airtel (Bharti Airtel) • EzeeMoney | EzeeMoney • M-Sente | UT Mobile (Uganda Telecom) • MCash | Housing Finance Bank • MTN MobileMoney | MTN • Orange Money | Orange • Warid Pesa | Warid Telecom (Abu Dhabi) Rwanda: 3
Côte d’Ivoire: 4 • Celpaid Cote d’Ivoire | Celpaid
• Airtel Money | Airtel (Bharti Airtel) • MTN MobileMoney | MTN • Tigo Cash | Tigo (Millicom)
• Flooz | Moov (Etisalat) • MTN MobileMoney | MTN • Orange Money | Orange (Cote d’Ivoire Telecom)
Burundi: 2 • EcoKash | Econet Wireless • MobiCash | MobiCash
Burkina Faso: 2 • Airtel Money | Airtel (Bharti Airtel)
• Inovapay | Inova
• Airtel Money | Airtel (Bharti Airtel) • Mpamba | TNM
Ghana: 3 • Airtel Money | Airtel (Bharti Airtel)
• MTN MobileMoney | MTN
• Airtel Money | Airtel (Bharti Airtel)
• Tigo Cash | Tigo (Millicom)
• Celpay | Celpay • FNB eWallet | FNB
• MTN MobileMoney | MTN
• M Koudi | Airtel (Bharti Airtel)
• Zoona | Zoona
• Orange Money | Orange
Benin Republic: 2 • MTN MobileMoney | areeba (MTN) Nigeria: 10 • EaZyMoney | Zenith Bank • Ecobank Mobile Money | Ecobank Nigeria Plc • Firstmonie | First Bank of Nigeria PLC • Glo Txtcash | Glo Mobile (Globacom) • Growth Enhancement Support Scheme | Cellulant Ltd • Mobile Commerce | Etisalat (EMTS) • Mobile Money | Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC • MobileMoney | GTBank • Paga | Pagatech • PocketMoni | eTranzact
African Cities Economic Growth Potential
Chad: 2 • Airtel Money | Airtel (Bharti Airtel) • Tigo Cash | Tigo (Millicom) Cameroon: 4 • Express Union Mobile | Express Union • Moneytel | Moneytel Global Services • MTN MobileMoney | MTN • Orange Money | Orange Gabon: 2 • Airtel Money | Airtel (Bharti Airtel)
• Ecocash | Econet Wireless • One Wallet | NetOne Madagascar: 3 • Airtel Money | Airtel (Bharti Airtel) • MVola | Telma • Orange Money | Orange Namibia: 2 • FNB eWallet | FNB • MobiPay | MobiPay Botswana: 3 • FNB eWallet | FNB • MyZaka Mascom Money | Mascom (MTN) • Orange Money | Orange South Africa: 6 • Community Banking | Standard Bank • FNB eWallet | FNB • M-PESA | Vodacom • MTN MobileMoney | MTN • Mxit Money | Mxit Lifestyle (Pty) Ltd • WIZZIT | WIZZIT Mozambique: 2 • M-PESA | Vodacom • mKesh | mcel (Mozambique Cellular)
• BICIG Mobile | BICIG
Congo, Democratic Republic of: 3
• Ecocash | Econet Wireless • FNB eWallet | FNB
• Airtel Money | Airtel (Bharti Airtel) • M-PESA | Vodacom
• Tigo Cash | Tigo (Millicom)
• Orange Money | Orange (Mauritius Telecom)
A NUMERIS-MEDIA Publication Editor Anne N. Agbakoba
Editorial Assistants Elizabeth Okereke, Bukola Allison, Olusola DaCosta
Production Jean-Luc Atelier
Administration Michelle Bezomo
Tel +234 705 300 8894, +234 1 898 1061
eBanking Africa September, 2013
Cards & Financial Inclusion
eBanking Africa September, 2013
Nigeria Sets its Sights on Financial Inclusion
Commi!ed to Cashless
August 20, 2013
A year ago, Nigeria put forward an ambitious financial inclusion strategy. This National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) is an exciting development, and with this post I want to take a closer look at it and spotlight some areas to watch as implementation progresses in the years to come. So, what is it all about? In October 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) promoted the program as a key driver for achieving their larger Vision 20: 2020 strategy, an ambitious initiative aiming to make Nigeria one of the world’s 20 largest economies by 2020. The CBN is already one of 36 national institutions that have signed the AFI Maya Declaration, a set of commitments from emerging economies’ governments’ designed to increase access to and lower the costs of financial services, and its governor often makes the case that financial inclusion benefits economic growth. After all, despite being West Africa’s largest economy and holding an impressive mass of natural resources, Nigeria is also home to 100 million people living on less than US$1.25 a day. In the financial sector, only 30 percent of adults have an account at a formal financial institution. Public sector borrowing crowds out private borrowers and lending institutions have become increasingly risk averse, reflecting recent crises and adjustments to new regulatory reform. Credit markets remain underdeveloped with limited products, short-term horizons, and high borrowing costs. Making the financial landscape even harsher, Nigerians must contend with inadequate physical infrastructure, ineffective legal institutions, and everyday challenges like distant bank branches, missing identification documents, and high fees. At the heart of the NFIS is the goal that by 2020, at least 70 percent of Nigerians will be financially included in the formal sector. On top of this, the CBN has set specific targets for certain services such as insurance, savings, and pensions. The bank also plans to lead the development of strategic subsectors, including mobile banking, cashless initiatives, and agricultural finance, as well as a unique identity scheme which will issue all Nigerian adults with identification smart cards that are equipped with access to basic banking services. Simultaneously, the government has introduced new regulation in the effort to strengthen client protection measures and institutional stability safeguards and has created new oversight bodies, such as a consumer protection department and a credit risk management system. In addition to all this, I’m sure I won’t be the only one in the industry continuing to
watch some of the other pioneering CBN initiatives, like the Agent Banking Guidelines and tiered Know-Your-Customer (KYC) requirements, which help encourage institutions to reach out to underserved segments. Similarly, as Islamic finance continues to take off globally, the CBN’s efforts to make Nigeria a hub for Islamic banking and improve regulation for noninterest bearing, Shariah compliant, bank services could open new doors for the unbanked. Clearly, as innovative or comprehensive as these programs may appear in last year’s paper trail, their success hinges on their implementation in the coming years. For example, Nigeria’s pilot program in Lagos for a cashless economy using a new electronic payments system is worth noting – it aims to move 21 million people and an urban economy that some estimate to be as high as $45 billion into the fully electronic realm – but it is already somewhat behind schedule due to hurdles such as poor PR management (now they’re using the term “cashlite” instead of the more rousing “cashless”) and inadequate pointof-service terminals. Additionally, the country’s smaller institutions which typically serve the very poor will likely struggle as the government introduces more strident prudential regulation, and some may be forced to close due to insolvency. In 2010 the Central Bank revoked the licenses of 224 MFIs who had not complied with new regulation. As the government targets its 70 percent marker, watchful eyes must see to it that financial inclusion proceeds in an even demographic sweep. Right now women are more highly excluded than men with rates of inclusion that are 10 percent less, and geographically the incidence of financial exclusion is most acute in the North of the country where rates are more than double the rates recorded in the South. Similarly, addressing service gaps within the informal sector, where 17 percent of the population currently accesses financial services, in addition to addressing those in the formal sector, will be uniquely challenging and call for innovative approaches. It remains to be seen how successful Nigeria’s Central Bank will be in accompanying its policy groundwork with subsequent action but it is certainly a positive step forward that the achievement of financial inclusion is being promoted as a centerpiece in the administration’s agenda for economic growth. Nadia van de Walle is Senior Africa Specialist, the Smart Campaign, Center for Financial Inclusion
Account penetration Adults with an account at a formal financial institition (%)
Moblie Payment Readiness: Category Leader
Consumer PSP usage
Consumer Consumer POS usage m-comm usage
Kenyan consumers’ very high levels of familiarity with and frequent usage of mobile payments make the east African nation the top scorer on the Consumer Readiness component. Consumer Readiness scores are driven in large part by how frequently mobile payments are currently in use.
Quotes by Daniel Monehin Division President, Sub Saharan Africa, MasterCard
Innovation in emerging markets is leading growth on the continent, along with public sector commitment to extend ﬁnancial inclusion to sectors of the African population that were previously unbanked. Nigeria’s Cashless Policy is an example of a developing market’s understanding of the importance of reducing the amount of cash in circulation in the economy
The beneﬁt of ﬁnancial inclusion far outweighs revenues for MasterCard. We are looking at formalisation of trade, for example… when [trade] happens in cash, there is no record of it and therefore small businesses owners are not able to grow as quickly as they can. They are not able to access loans from banks because the bank cannot see their transactions; they can’t track it.”
Growing the prepaid business in Africa would bring more people into the formal ﬁnancial system, thereby increasing levels of ﬁnancial inclusion in the continent.. As we work towards realising our vision of a world beyond cash, we acknowledge that Africa’s position as an emerging market provides increasing opportunities for the growth of prepaid card payments, especially as the market begins to witness a shi# from cash to cashless transactions
eBanking Africa September, 2013m-Banking
Transferring to a be!er way of life By Jeremy Osborne Marketing Manager Telecommunication Division Gemalto
Mobile money is the one area in which the new ‘emerging markets’ have surged way ahead of their counterparts in so-called ‘mature’ mobile regions. In countries where people don’t have access to banking or to the PC-based internet, phonebased money transfer has immediate and obvious benefits. Mobile clearly removes the barriers of time and location and where once an individual had to walk miles to join a queue at a specified time to pay a bill, he or she can now send a text wherever and wherever they are to make a remote payment.
M-Paisa (is) a scheme launched in 2008 by the US military with Vodacom and Roshan, Afghanistan’s biggest mobile carrier, to use mobile transfers to pay over 500 Afghan national policemen. When the pilot began, some of these individuals believed they had received a pay rise of up to 30 per cent. They hadn’t. They were merely being paid their correct salaries for the ﬁrst time without any money being skimmed by dishonest agents!
Mobile money users in Africa
Emerging markets: the future is mobile
Front-runners The pioneering service – M-Pesa in Kenya – launched in 2007 is now available in seven countries including India and Tanzania. It is used regularly by more than 15 million customers, generating more than 165 million transactions per month. Since then many mobile money services have been launched around the world and trade body GSMA recently announced it was generating $4.6 billion in monthly transactions. Gemalto contributed to many of those projects, with mobile operator MTN or NetOne to name but a few in Africa, delivering the secure platform and technology to create a trusted environment for those mobile remote payments to take place.
Analysts, Berg Insight, say total active mobile money users in emerging markets will grow from 61 million (2011) to 381 million by 2017, with the total value of transactions projected to increase from $44 billion in 2011 to $395 billion. Gemalto is at the heart of the ecosystem, working closely with over 450 mobile operators and 3000 banks worldwide, and sees that traditional bank and card issuing sectors have begun to engage with the space - and are now increasingly teaming up with operators to build services on the back of secure and well-established financial structures. The momentum looks set to continue.
m-Money: a compelling case Mobile money services are now generalizing but they launched first in emerging markets. Why? Because they have in those markets the power not just to simplify lives, but to transform them! In Africa, people spend a great deal of their time queuing. In a cash economy, paying bills and debts is arduous: every payment requires its own physical transaction. That means hours spent waiting behind others, while forms are filled and money is counted. Mobile money transfer services offer a compelling antidote to this way of paying. They give people - especially the unbanked or under-served by banking services - the chance to set up accounts on their phones, which can be topped up with cash by official agent shops throughout the country. Thereafter bills can be paid using a text message. The savings in time are immense, and promise to deliver dramatic improvements to the quality of individual lives as well as macro-economic benefits to the country.
Success stories Mobile money services are being trialed all over the world and one of the most ambitious one was Mexico’s Transfer, the largest mobile payment program launched in April 2012 by mobile operator Telcel and financial institutions Citigroup’s Banamex, Banco Inbursa, with Gemalto providing
the technology to power the backend systems. The solution lets customers use mobile phones to set up bank accounts, transfer money, withdraw cash from ATMs, purchase airtime, and pay at merchant points of sale. Though primarily aimed at Mexico’s 80 million unbanked population, the ultimate aim is to extend the service to América Móvil’s Latin American subscriber base of 240 million subscribers. Another example to illustrate the many benefits of mobile money transfer in emerging markets is M-Paisa, a scheme launched in 2008 by the US military with Vodacom and Roshan, Afghanistan’s biggest mobile carrier, to use mobile transfers to pay over 500 Afghan national policemen. When the pilot began, some of these individuals believed they had received a pay rise of up to 30 per cent. They hadn’t. They were merely being paid their correct salaries for the first time without any money being skimmed by dishonest agents! All of this helps to explain why, today, the momentum behind these services is unstoppable and in some African countries there are now more mobile money accounts than bank accounts.
How the solution works
Opportunities to ﬁll gaps
Customers sign a contract in both urban and rural locations via mobile operators’ shops and agencies. A Transfer account is created for the customer and linked to their mobile number. The account includes a stored value account (SVA), but can also point to an existing bank account, which serves as a funding source. The customer then chooses a PIN. Once registered, users can top up with cash or from their existing bank account or via a money transfer from someone else. The customer receives notifications about the account and transactions via SMS and/or email. When they want to withdraw cash, they can do so via a mobile operator shop agent, bank branch or ATM. And if money is sent to someone not equipped with the solution, they too can cash out at an agent by showing him their text alert. All of these functions have to be verified by the back-end system – and this is where Gemalto comes in. It is the Gemalto Mobile Payment Platform that authenticates the customer, makes sure they have sufficient funds to perform the transaction, deducts fees as required, and maintains transaction history. It also monitors the account activity according to predefined limits on transaction amounts and frequency, and prevents transactions when limits are exceeded.
eBanking Africa September, 2013
No institution has done more to drive ﬁnancial inclusion than FirstBank The level of provision of financial services to consumers has never been so high, and millions of people are now able to access basic financial services - thanks to the mobile phone. Yet billions of people are still financially excluded. In this interview with Anne Agbakoba (Chief Research Officer, NUMERIS-MEDIA), Head of Mobile Financial Services at First Bank of Nigeria, Mike Ogbalu shares key insights into how FirstBank’s mobile money services have been received as an agent of financial inclusion. Excerpts: FirstBank recently signed an impressive $100m SME ﬁnancing deal with China Development Bank – a strong indicator FirstBank is very serious about serving the needs of the un-banked and the under-banked. What are the various FirstBank mobile money services that key into the concept of ﬁnancial inclusion, how do they work, and what are their beneﬁts? Firstly, it is pertinent to note that no institution has done more to drive financial inclusion than Firstbank. Our commitment to this goal can be seen in our extensive branch spread, our innovative products, and the trust which we have been able to uphold over the years. Delivery of the very well-tailored financial services through the mobile channel is clearly in alignment with our financial inclusion strategy. FirstBank’s mobile money platform is referred to as Firstmonie, and offers the following services: • Send Money – this service avails the customer the opportunity to send money via the mobile wallet to another mobile wallet, FirstBank account and other bank accounts in Nigeria. • Withdraw Money – this service allows the customer withdraw money directly from his/her mobile wallet via any FirstBank ATM, Branch or agent location. • Make Purchase – this service allows customers pay for goods and services at merchant locations which include online shopping, supermarkets and stores etc. • Bills – partnerships between Firstmonie and utility providers have, and are still being put in place for services to be paid for
One of the key selling points of Firstmonie is that it has the capability to support both remi!ances, savings and so much more. It also has the ability to link the mobile wallet to the FirstBank account such that funds that have been remi!ed to the wallet can be moved with ease to the Firstbank account
using the Firstmonie platform. Some examples include DTSV, PHCN (Prepaid), and Startimes, amongst others. • Airtime – purchase of all denominations of airtime, on all networks, via Firstmonie. Options are available to top-up your phone and other phone numbers. • Cash Token – This service enables the Firstmonie account holder send money to a non-account holder (by generating a token), which can be withdrawn at any FirstBank agent location, branch and ATM. • FirstBank Services – customers have the opportunity to link their existing FirstBank accounts to their mobile wallets. In doing this, funds can be transferred to and from the wallet to their FirstBank accounts. The customer’s Firstbank account balance can also be checked using this option. • Firstmonie Services – under this service option, the customer checks his Firstmonie account balance, mini statement, resets their PIN, activates channels, and accesses contact details for the Firstmonie helpdesk Benefits of the mobile money service include: • No stringent conditions for account opening • The Platform is accessible on 4 channels (USSD, WEB, WAP and Mobile APP), with STK coming soon. • The service can be accessed by all categories of phones (low and high end) • No minimum account balance required • No COT • Ease of use. • Available on all GSM networks • Real-time feedback and payment receipt via SMS • 24/7 availability • Convenient • Safe and secure transactions
Mr. Mike Ogbalu Head, Mobile Financial Services First Bank of Nigeria
Services such as payments (salary disbursements) can be achieved via the Firstmonie Bulk Payment Platform, which has been incorporated with three levels of validation to mitigate incidence of inaccuracies and fraud
Financial inclusion is usually the objective of mobile remi!ance services. How about the transition from remi!ances to savings, which is just as important? We believe that this market will evolve and that the success of the market will be based on an alignment of our offering with the gaps which have over the years led to the exclusion of most Nigerians. Both savings and remittances will play their part in making the mobile money space a success. One of the key selling points of Firstmonie is that it has the capability to support both remittances, savings and so much more. It also has the ability to link the mobile wallet to the FirstBank account such that funds that have been remitted to the wallet can be moved with ease to the Firstbank account.
How can mobile payments assist in reducing instances of inaccuracies, fraud or corruption (for example mobile payments for salary disbursements)? Our infrastructure is based on Visa’s bank grade application which has scaled not only Visa’s very stringent standards but also standards of top regulators around the world. The Firstmonie platform supports, end-to-end encryption, full audit trails, bank grade security, multiple level authorisation, non-repudiation, etc. The system supports all kinds of payment paradigms such as collections, disbursements, transfers, bill payment etc, with logs and controls which ensure that no one is able to beat the system. Services such as payments (salary disbursements) can be achieved via the Firstmonie Bulk Payment Platform, which has been incorporated with three levels of validation to mitigate incidence of inaccuracies and fraud. The finance team of an institution executing payments of salaries through Firstmonie, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, will have online real-time access to statements for the purpose of reconciliation and audit trail.
How do you build consumer trust in both your product and distribution channels? • 24/7 Service availability • 24/7 Customer care and support in multiple Nigerian languages • Availability of multiple channels • Service quality • User friendly/ interactive platform • Effective dispute resolution
eBanking Africa September, 2013
Which Credit Card? By Bukkie Allison
A credit card is a loan. When a consumer uses a credit card for purchases, the financial institution advances credit (loan) to the cardholder. Purchases are totaled and billed monthly and the cardholder pays a few weeks after receiving the monthly bill. Which: VISA or MasterCard? VISA and MasterCard are both payment processing institutions, owned by thousands of participating financial institutions. It is important to remember that neither Visa nor MasterCard issue credit cards themselves. It is the member banks and building societies around the globe who issue the branded cards (mainly credit and debit cards). Both VISA and MasterCard have similar credit products. So if you are trying to decide which card to go for, it may be a good idea to look at the features of the specific credit card (not the brand). The most important features, of course, are Interest rate and Annual fees.
Interest rates It’s worth bearing in mind that neither Visa nor MasterCard set fees or determine interest rates on your card. These are arrived at by the bank or financial institution who issued your card. A Visa card or MasterCard issued by one bank may have different features from those issued by other banks, because the banks decide the individual criteria associated with your card – such as interest rates. Shop around to compare the Visa and MasterCard deals on offer to see which would suit you best.
accepted but not the other. Visa claims to be accepted for payment at over 29 million locations and for cash withdrawals at over 1.8 million ATMs in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. MasterCard says its brand is accepted at over 22 million shops and businesses, and has more than 1 million ATMs in over 210 countries, and processes over 23 billion payments per year.
Security Visa offers you protection when shopping online, with the ‘Verified by Visa’ scheme. MasterCard also has a ‘SecureCode’ scheme, which protects online purchases in a similar manner. They both work by setting you up with a password or secret number which you will be required to enter whenever shopping online.
Consumer protection Does the card offer consumer protection? If so, does the item have to cost over a specified amount in order to be covered? If you make a purchase on your card and that purchase turns out to be faulty and the retailer refuses to co-operate by replacing it or refunding your money, you can make a complaint to the card issuer. MasterCard or VISA will investigate the case on your behalf; if they consider your claim to be valid, they are in a position to force the supplier to comply, with the ultimate threat of withdrawing the Visa or MasterCard membership. This can be particularly useful in situations where you have bought something from a supplier who subsequently goes into liquidation.
Does the card issuer charge an annual fee for holding the card? With so many cards available there is no need to own a card that charges an annual fee, unless that card offers benefits that outweigh the cost of the annual fee.
Many cards offer travel accident insurance. However, check the small print to determine exactly what is covered and what the conditions of cover are. For example, do you need to purchase a holiday in full on your card? Paying for your holiday’s deposit using another means may invalidate your insurance, even if the balance is paid using the credit card.
Usability Both are global, so it is rare to find a location where one is
incurred as a result of using your card online.
Both card companies have reward schemes in place, with different offers available for their respective customers. Some credit cardholders may like to carry both a Visa and a MasterCard, in order to take full advantage of the promotions connected with each.
Style If you are highly image conscious, you might want to consider the look of the plastic card itself. For example, the FirstBank ‘Expression on Cards’ or the UBA ‘All about U’ personalised cards are quite stylish!
Online fraud guarantee
Some credit cards, offer an online fraud guarantee stating that you will not be held responsible for unauthorised charges against your card which are
Worldwide, some of the competitors of VISA and MasterCard include American Express and Discover cards.
5 Tips to Keep You Safe
Keep your PINs private
Guard your cards
Carefully check your statements
Be careful where you enter your details
• Go through your bank account and credit card statements in detail to spot anything strange.
• Only ever use computers that have full and upto-date security software installed [download free software: numeris-media.com/free]. • Take a skeptical approach to online shopping. Stick to familiar retailers. • Check the task bar reads https:// (as opposed to just http://) and that the padlock symbol is displayed in your browser window before you enter any card or address details - this signifies that you’re on a secure web page. • Set up and use Verified by Visa and/or MasterCard SecureCode but make sure you use difficult to guess passwords and keep them private
Being careful with your PIN is your best • Never let a retailer, waitress, defence against card fraud. This means: barman or anyone else take your card out of your sight. •Cover your hand when you’re entering your PIN at the ATM or PoS machine. • Only carry the cards you •Never shareit with anyone else, no need with you and store matter how trusted they are or why they the others in a safe place at say they need it. Your bank or credit card home company will never, ever ask you for it.
• Regularly check you have •Make it as cryptic as possible - birthdays all your cards so none can and easy to remember sequences (1,2,3,4 disappear without you knowing for instance) are far too obvious •Setting up a different PIN for each card you have
• Query any unfamiliar transactions with your bank immediately. If someone other than you has been shopping with your card, you can get it stopped and investigated before more harm is done.
As we increasingly spend more on debit and credit cards, knowing how to keep your card details safe is crucial. Here is how:
5 Take care when you take out cash Use an ATM that has been tampered with and you’ll be handing your details over to fraudsters without a fight. That’s why it’s so important to pick your cashpoint carefully and check it for signs of tamper before you enter your card. • Whenever possible you should aim to use cashpoints installed inside banks or building societies, or those within clear shot of a CCTV camera • Check the cash machine for anything unusual before you enter your card • Contact your bank immediately - preferably while you’re in sight of the cashpoint itself - if your card is swallowed • Discretely take out your cash, put it away and ensure the session is over before you start to walk away • Don’t get a receipt if you don’t need one but do make sure you pick up any paperwork that is printed • Be wary of bystanders who get too close. Don’t turn to speak to them before your cash and your card is safely in your wallet (even if they ask if you have dropped some money).
eBanking Africa September, 2013
Diamond Bank has over 232 branches and we are still growing The first thing we did was to upgrade the risk manager function. We brought in a new executive director to head that area, and we were able to clean the books of the bank. But we took a beating. We had to write off 45 billion naira in terms of provisions for impaired risk assets, plus, another 20 odd billion naira that we sold to AMCON. That was over 60 billion naira that we had to write off. And that resulted in posting a loss in financial year 2011. But from the first quarter of 2012, we returned to profitability, and by the end of the financial year in 2012 we posted a profitbefore-tax of close to 28 billion naira and profit-after-tax of 22 billion naira. The market has been quite rewarding in terms of the appreciation of the work that has gone into this. We also took a close look at the people we have to determine who stayed and who did not. Last year, we let go a lot of people who we thought were not in sync with the new vision that has been defined by the bank. And we have also brought in a lot of people from the market here and from abroad that we think will help us in delivering our vision for the bank.
Reed Kramer, interviews Diamond Bank Managing Director, Dr. Alex Otti, who speaks very lucidly about the transition the Nigerian banking industry has undergone - and the role of Diamond Bank in all of this since he took the helm of affairs in March 2011. Excerpts: What are the main changes you have witnessed in banking in this country? The sector has experienced a whole lot of challenges, and these challenges date back to 2004 or even before that. But I will talk about 2004 specifically, because that was when the banking consolidation move was made by the then Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Professor Charles Soludo, who insisted that banks re-capitalize. It was a good move. Some banks were forced to merge, because they required capital. We saw the number of banks dropping from an all-time high of about 89 to 25, and that helped in ensuring that a lot of banks did not disappear given the global economic crisis that hit home between 2007 and early 2009. And the industry itself cannot be divorced from the economy generally. Oil prices came down from an all-time high of about $147 per barrel to less than $40 per barrel, and this happened within eight months. We had the stock market losing about 70% of its value, the oil share index dropped drastically, and the real estate market did not fare any better. These were areas where the banking industry was very strong, and so it was natural that - in a very serious crisis - the banks were not going to get away unscathed. In June 2009, a new Central Bank Governor was appointed, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who was a practitioner himself, having been appointed from his position as the Managing Director of First Bank PLC. The first thing he did was to commission a special audit of the banks. What they saw, which was no surprise to some of us who were also practitioners, was mind-boggling. Eight banks were literally taken over, because the Central Bank didn’t want any bank to fail. The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON – amcon.com.ng) was set up to resolve the banking crisis. Some of the banks have been sold, some have merged, and one of them, they recapitalized - that’s Union Bank. Three more are still under some selling process.
What is the basic proﬁle of the bank now? Diamond Bank, which will be 22 years old this year, was set up in 1991 and has transitioned from being a private bank to a publicly listed bank, quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and also listed with the Global Depository Receipts program on the Professional Securities Market at the London Stock Exchange. Our shareholders include many Nigerians and Actis, a London-based private equity firm, which owns 15% of the shares and have two seats on the Board. We have over 232 branches and are still growing. In the past few months, we have opened an additional 20 branches and more are opening this month. We expect that by early next year, we will have between 260 and 300 branches across Nigeria. We are also present in four west African countries - Benin Republic - where we are the third largest bank, with over 20 branches - Senegal, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire. We also have a presence in the UK, Diamond Bank UK PLC.
Did the expansion outside Nigeria start before you took charge? Dr. Alex Otti Managing Director, Diamond Bank
So what is the state of the industry today? The global economic crisis affected us in a very difficult way, but we have been able to come out of it. Today you have stronger banks; today you have banks returning back to profitability and showing stronger returns, and growth rates of double digits in some of the banks. For the first time we are hitting the 100-billion-naira mark in terms of profitability. Two banks did that in the last financial year, and one or two others were around 90 billion. I would say the banking industry has recovered. There is still some way to go, and we cannot rest on our laurels because the global economy is not yet out of the woods. We are all familiar with what’s happening in Europe and elsewhere, where we have negative growth rates, so we need to also be vigilant so that we don’t go back to where we are coming from.
What did you ﬁnd on arrival at Diamond Bank? Diamond Bank was not spared. We had our own fair share of challenged assets. The bank was grappling with a lot of the assets to see if they could turn around. When I joined March 1, 2011, we had to restructure the bank. There were advantages joining from outside, but it was also a major challenge convincing my new colleagues who had sold accounts to close them. But we did, and that’s how we got to where we are today. We have done the cleanup, and we have turned around. The bank had had its highs and lows, and subsequent to the global economic prices the bank had its own fair share of challenged risk assets. I took a decision to look at our risk assets portfolio and clean it up. It was a very difficult process, but we were determined to do that.
In 1992, Diamond Bank launched the Diamond Integrated Banking System which oﬀered online real-time Banking. At that time, it was a big deal that a trader could have his account in the North and then go to a branch in the South with his checkbook and withdraw cash, do his business and go back, without going through the risk of carrying cash
Yes, when I came we were in Benin Republic. So under my watch we have opened Togo, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, and of course London.
Why Francophone Africa? Good question! That’s an area where we have a lot of advantages. The easiest place to go is Anglophone Africa, because the language barrier is not there. But we want to do things differently. There is a lot of trade that happens between Nigeria and Francophone African countries, and those areas have limited banking facilities. So we went to where we think the opportunities are greatest. And the success story that we have recorded going to Francophone Africa justified that decision. That does not rule out Anglophone Africa. We believe that we will be looking at that in due course. There’s an advantage that most people don’t know, and that is the regulatory environment. They have a unitary kind of system, operated by BCEAO [the Central Bank of West African States]. It makes life easier, because you comply with the regulation in one country, then you have complied with the regulation everywhere else. With the license we acquired when we entered Benin Republic, we were able to get into all the other Francophone African countries without difficulties.
What role does technology play in that innovative approach? We have always been an innovative bank; innovative in terms of technology, in terms of service, and in terms of the kind of things we do, and we have not relented in leading the way. We are one of the leading Banks in micro, small and medium scale enterprises markets. In the last couple of years, we have disbursed over 71 billion naira to our customers within this segment. We have also been recognized with several awards. This is an area Cont. on Page 10
eBanking Africa September, 2013
Cont. from Page 9 where a lot of banks were not playing in the past, but we have shown that you can do business in that segment of the market. In 1992, Diamond Bank launched the Diamond Integrated Banking System which offered online real-time Banking. At that time, it was a big deal that a trader could have his account in the North and then go to a branch in the South with his checkbook and withdraw cash, do his business and go back, without going through the risk of carrying cash. This was a big deal in the 90s. Today, online real time banking is a commodity but Diamond has remained a market leader and has continued with the innovative trend. Our systems are such that we continue to ensure that we are ahead of the requests of our customers. We are always engaging with them and finding out where the next technology is headed. The cashless society is something that has come to stay in Nigeria. It is a difficult one and a lot of people are resisting it, because we have a culture of carrying cash. That’s what we are used to, but when you look at the numbers, you find that it’s being embraced by a lot of people, maybe because they don’t have a choice. Today you cannot draw more than 150,000 naira in cash; otherwise you have to pay a penalty fee on the excess amount. There are problems, and of course one of them is infrastructure. Broadband technology has not been very efficient here, but at we are getting there. And people also have come to terms with the risk of carrying cash around, the cost of carrying cash, and all the other negatives that go with it, so it’s being accepted. By July, five more states, I believe, will join the cashless society. Irrespective of the challenges, I think it will be
As a Diamond Bank customer, if you have a smartphone you can do virtually all your banking from the comfort of your home or from where you are seated. We have developed tokens that are not physical, so you get into your BlackBerry or your iPhone and you can generate your token and use it to do your transactions. You can move money around from Diamond Bank to other ﬁnancial institutions. Our cards are reputed to be one of the best in the industry, and for the third time we are winning an award as the bank with the best credit card and best co-branded card program at Card and e-Payment Africa Awards 2013 held in South Africa
embraced and over time we will get there. As a Diamond Bank customer, if you have a smartphone you can do virtually all your banking from the comfort of your home or from where you are seated. We have developed tokens that are not physical, so you get into your BlackBerry or your iPhone and you can generate your token and use it to do your transactions. You can move money around from Diamond Bank to other financial institutions. Our cards are reputed to be one of the best in the industry, and for the third time we are winning an award as the bank with the best credit card and best co-branded card program at Card and e-Payment Africa Awards 2013 held in South Africa. We have done quite well with electronic banking technology. We are upgrading our platform. We run on Flexcube, and we are upgrading to the latest version. This is very important given the growth that we have witnessed in terms of deposits. In the last one year we grew by 51%. In terms of risk assets we also grew by 51%. As a bank growing in this kind of magnitude, it is important we keep up with modern technology trends to ensure we can satisfy all the needs of our new and existing customers.
Tell me about your ‘Brand Refresh Project’. We found that the Diamond Bank brand was speaking to a niche segment of the market. Since we are now a strong retail bank, we thought we should refresh the brand. We kept the diamond - we felt it represented the bank well. But we added colors - carefully chosen colors - to the logo. We tweaked it, and this has received approval from customers, from depositors, from shareholders, from even the regulatory authorities.
Terms and conditions apply Commercial Bank of Africa Limited www.cbagroup.com time for more.
eBanking Africa September, 2013
First Bank of Nigeria Plc FirstCash Naira MasterCard The FirstBank Naira MasterCard is an international debit card, denominated in Naira. It is linked to your Naira Savings or Current account. Your Naira MasterCard enables you carry out transactions anywhere in the world while your Naira account is debited.
Features ■Secured by Chip & PIN technology ■Daily Local ATM withdrawal limit of N100,000 ■Daily Local POS transaction limit of N500,000 ■POS/Web limit increase available upon request ■Card validity period of 2 years
need to source for foreign exchange, as transactions are debited directly to your Naira. ■Current or Savings account. ■Accepted internationally, wherever the MasterCard logo is displayed. ■It is an EMV card with enhanced security that ensures safety of your funds and transactions. ■It enables you spend Naira wherever you go in the world. ■Accepted across multiple channels - ATM, POS, Web, e.t.c. ■Reduced cost of cash transactions and risk associated with cash.
Debit and Credit Cards
First Visa Classic Debit Card The FirstBank Visa Debit card is a dual currency card linked to both your Naira Current or Savings account and US Dollar Domiciliary account. Transactions done while in Nigeria are debited to your Naira account while transactions done outside the country are debited to your US Dollar Domiciliary account.
FirstCash Verve Card A Debit Card linked to your Naira Savings or Current account that enables you make payments on POS terminals, the Internet and withdraw cash from ATMs in Nigeria.
& PIN secured, for enhanced protection of your funds.
■EMV - Chip and PIN ■Daily Local ATM withdrawal limit of N100,000 ■Daily international ATM withdrawal limit of
■Personalized, bears the customers name
$2,000 ■POS/Web limit increase available upon request ■Card validity period of 2 years
is an EMV (Chip & PIN) card with enhanced security that ensures safety of your funds and transactions. ■It is a dual currency card that allows you spend Naira from your Naira account and Dollars from your domiciliary account. ■Global Acceptance for ATM withdrawals, payment at POS terminals as well as via internet to pay for goods and services. ■Reduced cost of cash transactions and risks associated with cash.
First Inﬁnite Visa Card
throughout Nigeria, wherever Interswitch or Verve logo is displayed.
The ultimate bouquet of personalized rewards and benefits designed to complement the lifestyles of the discerning, successful and prestigious few. This product is available to First Bank Private Banking clients and by invitation only. With an extraordinary selection of distinctive travel, dining, shopping and lifestyle offers, your First Bank Visa Infinite card is your frictionless access to the finest things in life.
the Visa Infinite mark, the guarantee to priority attention and dependable services.
period of 2 years.
■Easy access to funds 24 hours each day.
the risk and inconvenience of carrying
by EMV Chip & PIN Technology.
■Flexible, can be used across multiple channels - POS,
Web, ATMs. ■Multiple
Value-Added Services - Airtime recharge, Bills payments, e.t.c.
87 international rewards and offers, available on the dedicated website. ■Personalized attention from FirstBank Private Banking and access to international concierge, medical services and legal assistance. ■Comprehensive
insurance services, including Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty, and Travel Insurance Multi-lingual round-the-world, round-the-clock support, providing 24 hours emergency card replacement, 24 hours emergency cash disbursement and emergency payment authorization.
worldwide for payment at over 28 million locations in over 200 countries.
for use across all channels including POS, Web, Mail Order/Telephone Order and ATMs.
First Visa Gold Card
First Standard MasterCard
FirstBank Visa Gold card is an international cashcollaterized credit card, issued in partnership with Visa International, and is accepted for payment at over 29 million locations and for cash withdrawals at over 1.8 million ATMs in over 200 countries and territories worldwide, wherever the Visa logo is displayed.
FirstBank MasterCard is a US Dollar denominated international payment card, issued in partnership with MasterCard Worldwide and Accepted for payment at over 29.4 million locations and over 1.9million ATMs in more than 210 countries and territories worldwide, wherever the MasterCard logo is displayed.
•Minimum balance to be left in the account at all times is $50
is expected to open a Visa Gold card account (US Dollar Domiciliary account). ■Withdrawals from the Visa Gold card account cannot be made across the counter. ■All withdrawals from the account will be via the Visa Gold card. Hence, no cheque booklet will be issued. ■Minimum balance to be left in the account at all times is $50. ■Card issuance fee of $25 ■Annual Maintenance fee of $50
Beneﬁts ■International acceptance for payments at tens of
millions of merchants and cash withdrawals at over 1.8 million ATMs, wherever the Visa logo is displayed. ■Discounts and rewards at hundreds of outlets worldwide. ■100% availability and dependability. The FirstBank Visa Gold card has been designed to ensure that your transactions always go through at all times. ■Greater spending power. There’s no limit to how much you can access from your Visa Gold card. Your spending power is only limited by how much you pay into your Visa Gold card account. ■Convenient for use across all channels including POS, Internet and ATMs, wherever the Visa logo is displayed.
First Naira Credit Card A Naira denominated Credit card, which provides customers with a revolving credit line, via all channels – POS, Web & ATMs.
branded – Global acceptance wherever Visa logo is displayed. ■Naira denominated ■Chip & PIN secured
•Annual Maintenance fee of $25
■Validity period – 2 years
•No across-the-counter withdrawals
is expected to open a MasterCard card account (US Dollar Domiciliary account). ■Withdrawals
from the MasterCard card account cannot be made across the counter. ■All
withdrawals from the account will be via the MasterCard card. Hence, no cheque booklet will be issued. ■Minimum
balance to be left in the account at all times is $50. ■Card issuance fee of $10 ■Annual Maintenance fee of $25
acceptance for payments at tens of millions of merchants and cash withdrawals at over 1.9 million ATMs, wherever the MasterCard logo is displayed. ■Secured by Chip and PIN (EMV) technology, which prevents cloning and unauthorized access to your funds 100% availability and dependability. The FirstBank MasterCard card has been designed to ensure that your transactions always go through at all times. ■Greater spending power. There’s no limit to how much you can access from your MasterCard card. Your spending power is only limited by how much you pay into your MasterCard card account. ■Convenient for use across all channels including POS, Internet and ATMs, wherever the MasterCard logo is displayed.
security for Internet payments via Verified-by-Visa (VbV) services. ■Billing Cycle – 30 days ■Interest
is charged only on utilized amount and not on total facility amount. ■Full
or Minimum (15% of outstanding indebtedness) repayment options.
access to a ‘revolving line of credit’, renewable each month, and available for a two-year period. ■Flexible repayment options – Repayment could be in full or in part (subject to a minimum of 15% of outstanding indebtedness). ■Interest-free period of up to 45 days – Access to a credit line for up to 45days without being charged interest (applicable). ■Locally and internationally accepted - Card can be used in Nigeria and everywhere else globally, wherever the Visa logo is displayed.
First Travel Card FirstTravel Card allows you load all or part of your personal or business travel allowance on a Visa Card which has worldwide acceptance at tens of millions of merchant locations and over 1.8 million ATMs in over 200 countries and territories, wherever the Visa logo is displayed.
Beneﬁts ■Up to $4,000 PTA and $5,000 BTA can be loaded
can be loaded on card or transfered directly from your FirstBank Domiciliary Account. ■Card
is activated immediately and can be used multiple times with a validity period of 2 years. ■A
Domiciliary Account is not required and there are no annual maintenance fees. ■The
card is secure for transactions on all electronic banking channels such as online banking platforms, ATMs and POS Terminals worldwide.
eBanking Africa September, 2013
Diamond Visa Credit Card One card, one currency
Purchase goods or services, on credit, with the Diamond VISA credit card. Whether you have cash-in-hand or not, the Naira-denominated Diamond VISA credit card ensures you can pay for everyday items, at home and abroad, while your monthly repayments are made in Naira. The Diamond VISA credit card is internationally accepted at locations in Nigeria and all over the world, where the VISA logo is displayed – across 200 countries and territories, and on 2.0 million ATMs (as of March 31, 2013).
Gold & Platinum Xclusive
Classic, Gold & Platinum SavingsXtra
Individuals who earn a minimum gross income of N80 000 monthly
Individuals who earn a minimum gross income of N600 001 monthly
Individuals who earn a minimum gross income of N1 000 001 monthly
High net worth individuals that operate a DiamondXclusive account.
A cash secured credit card that offers 75% of amount on hold as credit limit.
How Do I Get One? Walk into any Diamond bank branch and ask to speak to anyone about the Diamond visa card. You don’t have to bank with Diamond Bank to qualify. The following ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) requirements apply: Salaried Diamond Bank customers • Duly completed card application form • Confirmation of employment • Gross salary confirmation
Daily Usage Limit
Diamond Gem Rewards Earn points for every purchase you make. The more you use your card, the more you earn, and these gem points are redeemable from any of Diamond Bank’s loyalty partners.
Total Spend Limit
Maximum Purchase & Withdrawal Limit
ATM Usage Limit (Count)
Classic Card N200 = 1 Point
Non-Salaried Diamond Bank customers (eg. Sole Proprietors) • Duly completed card application form • Company registration documents
ATM Amount Limit
N500,000 N350,000 N200,000
POS Usage Limit (Count)
Salaried customers who bank with other banks • Duly completed card application form • Two copies of recent passport photograph of self • Valid means of applicant identification • Address verification ( electricity bills, water rates etc) • Confirmation of Employment • Gross salary confirmation • 3-month bank statement
POS Amount Limit
Easy Cash Flow
Where Can I Use the Card?
Loyalty Points (Non-Cash Transactions) Gold Card N175 = 1 point
Platinum N150 = 1 Point
• When your cash is stolen, it’s gone forever. • If your credit card is stolen contact the Diaomnd Bank call centre and hotlist the card immediately, and minimise any losses.
Making Repayments • Avoid incurring late payment fees, and make repayments by the 29th of each month
• The Diamond Visa credit card is internationally accepted at over 160 million outlets worldwide and cash withdrawals can be made at any ATM abroad that displays the Visa logo.
• Repayments cannot go below the 5% minimum of total amount outstanding.
• The card can also be used in Nigeria at the following merchants listed on this link - http://bit.ly/17KXEpA
• Get great deals on luxury goods from renowned retailers, offers at the finest hotels and restaurants and incredible benefits with airlines, cruise operators and car rental firms.
• The Diamond Visa card is accepted by over 160 million merchants and ATM outlets worldwide.
Secure Online Shopping
• Get up to 45 interest-free days on purchases and internet transactions, as long as you pay your card statement in full. • Applies only to purchases made on the card at a merchant or online.
• Verified by Visa is a new security system that tells online retailers and banks that you are a genuine cardholder when you shop online.
• The cardholder will get charged interest on all cash transactions. Interest is calculated based on how many days the money has been used.
• Verified by Visa allows you use a personal password or PIN to confirm your identity and protect your Visa card when you use your card on the Internet, providing greater reassurance and security.
Feel safe when you shop online with your Diamond Visa card:
Platinum Credit Card Premium Services
• The cardholder, their spouse and dependent children get a minimum coverage of US$500,000 in travel accident insurance when travel fares are paid for with Visa Platinum. • Enjoy access to 500 preferred golf clubs around the world and complimentary tee-off at 6 golf clubs in Asia • Concierge Services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the world over.