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One of the top three banks in Nigeria, has apparently disabled one of its recent innovative customer oriented initiatives that enables one-click purchase of airtime and funds transfer on mobile phones by simply dialing a short code *737*.

Daily Times findings revealed that the innovative mobile channel has been off for over a week now with no official statement issued by the bank to its customers, who have inundated its customer care unit with complains of failed attempted transactions.

The novel initiative was introduced few months ago first as an airtime top-up channel but was recently upgraded to enable funds transfer of N20,000 daily limits to other banks from any phone number linked to a customer?s account.

The award-winning bank known for pioneering innovative customer oriented offerings in the industry usually heralded by much multimedia awareness campaigns, also has a knack for discontinuing some of its innovative features without as much as informing its customers; an example is its ATM funds transfer feature, which while it still exists on their ATM terminals has long seized to be functional without an explanation offered.

This attitude has therefore given rise to speculations among its customers that the *737* channel which has been returning transactions with the response ?try again later? or ?supplementary service error: General error? could mean that the programme has been discontinued.

Truly a first in the banking industry, the innovative channel created a very simple and convenient way of topping up and transferring funds on mobile phones irrespective of phone type, but has also been highly criticised by some customers as lacking security features to prevent third-party unauthorised access.

On its launch, to help boost mobile money in Nigeria, the bank?s management had pledged to continue leveraging on technology to make banking, especially payments and transfers, faster, safer and more convenient for all its customers.

Indeed the collaboration between the banking and telecom sectors has been on the rise in recent times; however critics believe that service providers are still hampered in the area of infrastructure to guarantee sustainability.

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