By YUSUF MOHAMMED

Keystone Bank in recent times has been receiving praises excellent online service delivery by its customers, which has been the nemesis of most banks in the country. Most banks have been at the receiving ends of customers who are miffed by the poor quality of service delivery in the online platforms.

Complaints are common among banks’ customers of all sorts of issues in the online and digital platforms such as delay and incomplete transactions, debit without payment and fraudulent withdrawals.

Recently, Keystone Bank elevated three General Managers from within its ranks to the exalted position of Executive Directors. Namely: Messrs Tijani Aliyu, Olaniran Olayinka and Lawal Jibrin Ahmed. This action says something about the leadership style in place at the bank presently: it believes in, and has chosen to adopt the organic growth path. Some analysts say the challenge however would be whether this is enough.

While some analysts see it as a potential challenge, a trip to some of the branches of this bank showed that only a few customers were aware of the new promotions that took place recently, and they seemed not to be bothered.

“As long as I can perform my normal transactions in this bank, I have no problem with what happens in the board room,” said Salami Abdullahi, a customer at the bank.

Abdullahi’s view was re-echoed by most of the customers that were interviewed. They seem to be satisfied with the services of the bank.

Another customer, Ayinla Akorede said, “If I notice any negative difference, I will complain. For now, it is business as usual. I don’t see anything wrong in promoting staff from within.”

He was of the view that staff who already know the tradition of the bank would easily help maintain the growth trajectory of it.

“Lack of continuity has its own advantage and disadvantage. If it is working well for the bank, I see no reason why they should change their style,” he said.

Before gaining entrance into the bank, there are metal boxes where customers are to put their bags. After putting their bags in the box, they lock it and carry the key with them into the banking hall. Like many banks, customers in Keystone are received with warm greetings.

While customers appreciate smiles from the bank security guards and bankers, friendly gestures are not enough, as customers are more interested in quality services from the bank.

From observation, one thing that was very common with all the branches that this newspaper visited was that, the banking halls were not overcrowded with customers. The banks had just a few people and operations went smoothly.

When asked if it was a problem, BusinessHallmark gathered from staff and some customers, that the reason why the banking halls were not crowded with people is that the electronic banking of the Keystone is highly efficient.

One of the customers who simply gave her name as Monsurat, said, “I only came here to pay money into my account. As far as any other transaction is concerned, I do it with my mobile phone. There is hardly network problem.”

In a similar vein, Taofeek Abulkareem who was at the Awolowo, Ikeja branch to make use of the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) told BusinessHallmark that due to the nature of his business, he had to switch from his former bank to Keystone after finding out about the online aspect of the bank.

Speaking excitedly, he said, “I left my former bank because I heard of how good the online banking of Keystone is. I am a very busy person who hardly has time to go to the bank physically.

“My job entails a lot of online transfers and the bank I was dealing with before, it was one problem to other. One day, the code for sending money would work, the next day there would be network problem, same thing with the app,” he lamented.

While customers have hailed the bank for its online service, the bank has warned in its terms and conditions for opening an account, that there is “no warranty as to the fitness for purpose or merchantability of its E-banking services or that such services will at all times be accurate, reliable, uninterrupted, secure or error free.

“The Bank shall not be liable for the inability of the customer to use the service, loss of profits or goodwill or the cost of getting alternate goods and services and any other matters relating thereto,” the bank stated.

Efforts to reach Omobolanle Osotule, Divisional Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications at Keystone Bank to get her views, proved abortive at the time of filing this report as her number was switched off.

Keystone Bank Limited, commonly referred to as BankPHB, is a commercial bank in Nigeria. On Friday 5 August 2011, Keystone Bank Limited was issued a commercial banking license by the CBN. On the same day, CBN revoked the banking license of Bank PHB. Keystone Bank assumed the assets and some liabilities of the now defunct Bank PHB. The bank was acquired by AMCONin2010 and the name changed to Keystone alongside other three banks.

On 22 March 2017, Asset Management Company of Nigeria announced that Keystone bank had sold to investors for N25 billion ($81.5 million). It was sold to Sigma Golf-Riverbank consortium.