By FELIX OLOYEDE
Sending Money abroad could be a very difficult task especially for those who do not have a domiciliary account. MoneyGram is always the best alternative for customers who would like to send dollars or other foreign currencies to other accounts outside the chores of Nigeria. Hence, Hallmark team paid a visit to First Bank, GT Bank, Sterling Bank and Diamond Bank to inquire about their MoneyGram platform and to access their service delivery, corporate environment, customer relations among others.
25, Ogba/ Ijaiye Road, Lagos
Hallmark’s team paid a visit to the Ogba branch of First Bank on Friday. The bank wasn’t crowded as usual though it wasn’t totally organised, as customers were seen hanging around different corners of the bank. The bank had constraint with its parking space as customers were recalled repeatedly to move their cars for others car owners to exit the bank’s premises. The security men were however up and doing which is worth commending.
When our reporter enquired about MoneyGram, the cashier revealed that the bank had exceeded its limit for the week, hence customers would not be able to send money via the platform that day. We inquired further on when next we can use the platform but the particular cashier could not give answers as she asked that we wait for another cashier. The cashier in question didn’t come for another 15 minutes. Apparently, there were other customers waiting on the cashier. Further inquiries revealed that MoneyGram transactions can be done very early the following week.
Across the counter transaction took over five minutes and the customer care representatives were up and doing. The service of their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) was also quite commendable.
Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB)
19, Isheri Raod, Ogba, Lagos
If there is one thing that draws the attention of any visitor to this branch of Guaranty Trust Bank, it will be the architectural design. The bank is cited within a competitive environment, it shares the same fence as FCMB, and it is just a stone throw from Eco Bank. Just before the roundabout leading to the bank, we have Fidelity Bank, Zenith and another branch of Guaranty Trust Bank.
The bank has a large parking space for customers. When our crew visited the premises, it was quite, there weren’t many customers in the banking hall though there were quite a number of people waiting to use the ATM which were about six in number.
The security men were all up to their tasks, the two security men on duty who manned the entrance assisted customers into the bank.
From the customer care officials who were located on the first floor of the banking hall to the cashiers on the ground floor, the service delivery and customer relations of this branch of GTB is impressive. Across the counter transaction was excellent as it took less than three minutes while fast track took just a minute.
However, Guaranty Trust Bank says it does not offer MoneyGram service. Customers who intend to send money abroad may have to use a domiciliary account.
38, Ijaiye Road, Ogba
Since the restructuring of Sterling bank last year, the bank has always been a great sight to behold. The bank officials were all dressed in Native attires being a Friday.
The environment of the bank was neat and there weren’t many customers in the banking hall when our team paid a visit.
There wasn’t enough space to park neither was any security man at the doorpost to assist customers who have challenges gaining entrance into the banking hall. A Mobile Police officer who emerged minutes later at the doorpost soon disappeared to open and close the car door for a man who was in a porch car, making people wonder if it was his duty to open car doors or to take necessary security measures in the bank.
When we inquired about MoneyGram, the cashier said the platform was down and couldn’t even tell when the platform will be up and running. When our reporter asked as to when to come back, the Cashier rather suggested that we tried another branch of the bank.
We also got to know through customers in the bank that the service of the bank had been down since the early hours of Friday and only started working well towards noon.
36, Ijaiye Road, Ogba, Lagos
Diamond Bank was still able to give concise and precise answers though it had exceeded its MoneyGram limit for the week. The friendly male cashier took time to explain. He said booking for MoneyGram is once a week and also once a quarter per individual, which implies that a customer can only carry out MoneyGram transaction once in three months.
Such a customer should not have used the platform in Diamond Bank or any other bank in a space of 3 months.
He also told us that a customers cannot send more than 300,000 Naira abroad at once which he says is equivalent of 858 dollars.
He advised that we come back Wednesday of the following week which is a space of three working days.
The bank has good customer relations, the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) took less than two minutes to dispense as at the time we visited and across the counter transaction took less than five minutes.
A customer who wanted to use the MoneyGram platform was advised to get to the bank as early as 8am. MoneyGram is a game for early comers as the bank may have exceeded its limit later in the day. It is also advised that you go in the early days of the week, between Monday to Wednesday to avoid being turned down.
When you get to the bank, pick up the form, fill it and handover with the amount you wish to send.
You will then be issued a receipt and reference number for the transaction, which you will give to the recipient of the money.