City People Reveals A Lot Of Strategies They Have Adopted
No fewer than 20 States of Nigeria are under lockdown be it partial or complete, as ordered by the Federal Government to control the spread of the deadly COVID-19 that is currently ravaging the world.
Amidst the partial and full lockdown, the government exempted special force that should not be stopped from the operation. They are termed as essential services and Banks which come under essential services remained open, albeit with some restrictions to avoid the spread of the virus and ensure safety during the pandemic.
City People visited all the banks across Lagos State and brings you a report on how they all followed the guidelines by the Federal Government as advised by the Ministry of Health and the National Centre For Disease Control (NCDC). Operation is, however, picking up and the banks, are fully on track with customer delivery and satisfaction. Here is how some banks in Nigeria carry out their services:
Having understood and adopted the social distancing rule to avoid contacts, some banks introduced work shifts for their staff. Union ban, for instance, does, one week at home and one week at work. The staff works within the regular working hours and lodge in hotels closer to work, so as to resume the following day on time, and without having to go through the risk of public nearness
Some banks carry out only essential services like cash deposit and withdrawal, cheque clearances, remittances and government transactions. Although the time of operation for the banks was reduced, most of the financial institution worked around the time-space to ensure customer’s satisfaction. Each bank adopts the best option that suits the mode of operation that can satisfy all customers. An example is Zenith Bank, Access Bank, First Bank and Union Bank.
DIGITAL BANKING ENCOURAGED:
The federal government has urged people to use digital payment modes such as Flutterwave, Paystack, Quickteller, etc, from home, and avoid cash transactions to reduce crowds at banks or ATMs. Some banks also advised customers to use electronic payment options, instead of visiting branches to deposit or transfer money through cash or cheques.
It is also discovered that some banks selectively keep their branches open at such locations they deem fit after due consultation with the local state government/authorities to undertake the basic essential transactions. The association asked the CEO of banks to authorize their regional or zonal or circle heads to take a suitable decision in this regard. Zenith Bank and Access bank open some banks for ATM withdrawals only, giving enough social distance for customers on the queue.
REVISED BANK TIMINGS
Bank timings of UBA, Union Bank, GTBank and other large private sector banks have been altered amid coronavirus outbreak. The branches of these banks will remain open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Online Banking channels remain open 24*7 though.
Most banks operate with reduced staff at 5 – 25 % of their staff capacity which will include frontline staff. This is done as crowds at banks are expected to go down amidst lockdown. Bank staff at several banks are working on rotational shifts to manage the situation.
SANITIZERS, MASKS, GLOVES MANDATED
Bank staff is strictly advised to maintain hygiene conditions and use masks, sanitizers and gloves while carrying out banking operations to avoid any contact or contamination with virus.
Limited numbers of customers are allowed inside a bank branch at a given point of time, usually less than ten. Customers are asked to wear masks or tie a handkerchief and sanitize their hands before entering the banks.
In the area of crowd control, various banks adopted various styles for crowd control. While Access Bank made a queue box to control social distance within the banking premises, Zenith bank adopts compiling a list of customers in order of arrival so to control entry and exit to avoid overcrowding.
Customers are usually given number tags and are to wait until the banking hall is spacious enough to accommodate the next batch. Most Zenith bank branches made sheds for the customer to sit and wait until they are called to enter the bank after their hands have been sterilized.