By Raheem Akingbolu
Raheem Akingbolu reviews the new FirstBank’s corporate website and reckons that it would go a long way in strengthening the ability of the bank’s patrons and other potential customers in addressing basic banking operations.
Outside the physical identity of any brand, the most accessible door into operations of a company in today’s market is perhaps the website. With digital technology taking the lead in today’s business environment, website has swiftly become the virtual meeting point for sellers and buyers.
As a result of the fact that website can make or mar companies, depending on its message and aesthetic look, companies are now evolving every day to communicate their ideals through their websites. Today, having a website and an online presence give brand promoter opportunity to market their products online.
For the management of First Bank of Nigeria Limited, the new website represents the trending posture of the brand. In line with today’s business environment, the bank has continued to evolve and reposition to strengthening its operational skills. Though ageing, the FirstBank brand is ever young at heart. Through the website, First Bank has been able to present less cumbersome operations and by extension woos potential members of the public to join the FirstBank’s family.
Specifically, the website appears to have demystified online banking. Among other unique features, it allows self-registration of online banking; it makes provision for loan facility and encourages multiple transfers at once.
In a way, handlers of the FirstBank brand show through the friendly site that they are not ready to waste their customers’ time. They are aware that people don’t visit their website because they are looking for somewhere to spend their extra time. The promoters are quite aware that their customers simply want to get to things quickly and that is why the messages on the website speak to the specifics. Technically but smoothly, each category of the products displayed also parades key issues without confusing customers with irrelevant details.
Though an upgrade of the old one, the current website plays up features that are streamlined to reinforce its role in delivering seamless banking and technology solutions to its customers across the world.
The website is configured with modern design and improved functionality that eases customer experience whilst carrying out various activities on the site, including electronic banking. Non-customers are also able to open an account, putting them at an edge in the industry as they establish a relationship with the bank that puts its customers first.
For instance, many analysts have commended the fact that the bank adopts a fresh, magazine-style look and feel for easy navigation in order to promote the access to essential information for its customers, FirstMonie agents, prospective agents and the public. Another beautiful thing about the site is that the upgrade also guides an average customer to make well-informed decisions about one’s personal, business and private financial needs.
There is no doubt the fact that the bank keys into the popular theory that responsive websites are now the rule for institutions, not the exception.
Recent experience in the market place has shown that offering a seamless and consistent user experience, responsive design, allows a single site to serve audiences on all devices and orientations. However, if a company’s analytics show that the percentage of mobile traffic to the company’s site is at least 10% and steadily growing, responsive design is a must for your redesign.
The new FirstBank website is built on a powerful content management system that meets all of the bank’s needs. Meanwhile, some of many basic considerations for institutions, which the new website has explored are; ease of use, features, security and responsive design support.
In financial website, content is more important than ever to a financial website, offering visitors useful information, tools and resources to make better decisions with their money. Again, First Bank explores this maximally.
The bank’s messaging is simple and consistent, and organised in a scannable format for users to digest and take action. Additionally, like all great sites, the site focuses content around visitor’s needs, offering solutions and varied content types.
Being the first impression that its customers gets, website designers often advise that site design should be visually consistent with everything else the audience sees – from customer’s branch to his statement inserts to his emails.
In a way, the design of the FirstBank website is unique, uncluttered and well-planned so it can keep up with the institution’s changes. Another beautiful thing is that the site’s imagery feel distinct and appeal directly to First Bank’s geographic footprint and specific demographics, successfully balancing branded photography and promotional graphics. Each element of the design has a clear strategic purpose, align with the FirstBank brand promise, and send the right message to the bank’s customers.