Creating investment opportunities through technology
There is no doubt that the advent of digital technology has transformed nearly every aspect of modern life.Its impact can be felt in many aspects of daily living, including travel and tourism, career building, personal development, shopping, entertainment and communication, among others. It is now rare to find an electronic device or piece of machinery that does not incorporate technology and lifestyle in some way.
With digital technology devices are more connected, faster, lighter, more versatile and huge amounts of information can be stored locally or remotely and moved around virtually almost instantaneously.In the banking and financial investment space, digitalisation has been disrupting the industry as customers can now access financial services through the internet and mobile devices such as phones, tablets or software applications.
Consequently, bank customers can now check their incoming and outgoing payments as well as arrange money transfers and bill payments remotely. Besides, other financial activities such as buying and selling foreign currency, stocks and bonds are now being done on the internet. Transfer of funds, both locally and international; have also seen a great deal of innovation in recent years through digitalisation.
One bank in Nigeria that is leading the digitalisation drive is Sterling Bank Plc, recently adjudged as Nigeria’s Most Innovative Bank at the 4th edition of the Electronic Payment Incentive Scheme (EPIS) Efficiency Awards, organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).
The bank has been leveraging on digital technology to introduce new products and services into the Nigerian financial market.Some of the bank’s digital products and services include Specta; an online lending digital platform; Sterling OnePay, an omni-channel mobile banking platform and I-invest, an investment application that enables members of the public invest in treasury bills from any location of their convenience.
In continuation of its drive to be a leading digital bank, Sterling Bank, has launched a new online investment portal known as Doubble to cater to the investment needs of individuals in active workforce. Doubble is an automated investment platform that allows individuals to invest at their convenience and get back up to 100 percent returns over a period.
One of the early adopters of the new product, Solomon Okoro, says he used to go to his bank to manually fill forms before he could make an investment but Doubble has leveraged technology to make it easier, faster and more reliable.
He says Doubble is set to change the narrative in the way people invest as the use of technology will make the product to be very attractive to existing and potential customers of the bank. Doubble is designed to address the concerns of individuals who are looking to accumulate savings over a specific timeline to take care of future needs as a customer can choose to invest either a lump sum in one contribution or monthly contributions. This could be for the duration of six months to 60 months with all pay-outs remitted either monthly or once the target is achieved to named beneficiaries.
The new product can also function as an annuity to some customers as it guarantees monthly payment to their beneficiaries at regular intervals over a specified duration.The platform’s flexibility will allow the customer to select other beneficiaries such as children, spouse or parents for pay-out and it can be used for target savings in both Naira and Dollar to achieve a certain amount in a specific number of years earning interest along the way.
The online platform also provides customers with a calculator that can aid planning.It is safe to conclude that Doubble is a financial empowerment tool that enables individuals plan towards future consistent cash outflows such as payment for utilities, monthly upkeep and payment for mortgages while applications can be done immediately and a future convenient date selected for the contract to commence.