Push Notifications - The Future of Mobile Banks in Nigeria



In 2015, I got petty and walked into a Firstbank branch and immediately requested them to disable my SMS notification.

Reason? Well, N4/SMS from over a million account holders daily was outrageously an extreme money making scheme for the banks. I was okay with just notifications sent via email. :grinning:

Interestingly, I received email notifications for a while and then it stopped. Again, I walked into a branch and inquired why my email notifications weren’t coming through and I was told I opted-out from receiving alerts. I was amazed they could go that far to trick me into re-activating my SMS alerts. I walked out and ever since, I literally log into my online or mobile bank to always check the status of a transaction.

Picture this! If you feel SMS is a sure alternative in case a person is out of data, I reckon there are occasion when those SMS come hours or a day later yeah.

Fast forward to recent observations, the banks are just being petty for not enabling us to opt in for Push notifications – hence, messages that’ll pop up as alerts (especially credit alerts) on our mobile device.

Banks can leverage push notifications to communicate with customers effectively. A lot of lesson can be learnt from the way that other industries are using them.

Recent years have seen a huge increase in customer expectations when it comes to mobile banking. From mobile alerts to apps and chat bots, there’s been a proliferation in terms of available communication channels. I personally would prefer a push notification to an SMS.

What’s more, I bet end users no longer want to be addressed en masse. Best results can be achieved when communications are tailored to individual circumstances at specific times. And remember, bespoke (credit) alerts will never be confused as sales messages or, worse still, spam.

Many banks have heavily invested in their apps over recent years, as a way of offering a digitally-savvy consumer base a more convenient way to access their accounts, so what’s the hold up with Push Notifications?

I want to believe I am not the only one who feels my bank should avail me the option to opt in for push notifications.

PS. I maintain personal and business accounts with Firstbank, UBA, Access Bank and Sterling Bank. None offers Push Notification.

What do you guys think?


First thought: Wow, so much anger and negativity in one post. You could tone it down a bit, so people reading don’t get the feeling this is a venting and complain sharing thread. We like to share opinions and learn from each other here in Radar :slightly_smiling_face::blush:

On a more serious note, could you explain what you mean by push notifications? You mentioned mobile alerts, apps, chat bots and newer communication channels, do you mean notifications via these newer communication channels or what?

Maybe you explained it there, but the anger in the message is making it hard for me to read and get your opinion.


Great idea,push notification like when I log in to my mobile banking app or there website, they should just ask if I will like to receive push notification


Hey @sprime,
I’m not sure what you mean by so much anger.
I literally used a smiling smiley in the second paragraph to avoid such picture. :slight_smile:

Furthermore more, I implied that since banks have gone as far as to introduce more communication channels to improve our banking experience, introducing Push Notification should be a breeze.

For example; I have mobile bank installed and I opt in for Push Notification. When I am credited, it’ll show up amongst my notifications just as a WhatsApp, Email or related apps notify us.

Aside from the fact that I reckon we are mostly tech savvy here and can relate to the terms I used, Google is still our friend yeah. Push Notifications is already a norm for multiple use cases.

Apologies if my post wasn’t clear. This was a normal discussion in the old radar as it’s an insight on how mobile banking can be improved. :see_no_evil:



And notifications pop up same way we receive notifications for activities on mobile apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram et al. :sunglasses:


Visual Example :point_down:



@sprime I can see his original post has been edited twice, but in its current form I’m struggling to see the anger and negativity you speak of that’s making it so hard to get his opinion.

@MrASulaiman Did you ask for your SMS notifications to be disabled because you’re rebelling against the idea that banks make money off it? Lmao. My guess is you stopped getting email notifications because of someone’s carelessness or a ‘failure’ in the process, not anything malicious [but then again this is Nigeria, I can’t say for sure]. Personally don’t like SMS notifications for security reasons: I’ve heard stories along the lines of “they held me at gunpoint, went through the texts from my bank, saw my balance and asked me to withdraw what was left”.

I occasionally get push notifications from my bank, where they ‘encourage’ me to pay one bill or another. Never anything about my account balance.

What do you mean by ‘bespoke credit alerts [or tailored communication]’? If you mean banks should do things like “only people who meet x & y conditions should receive this marketing message about our upcoming Food Fair”, etc., that’s great but it doesn’t have to be done via push notifications. If you mean [something along the lines of] credit alerts should include customers’ names and their favorite emojis then LOL, not sure that’s something most people would care about [at least not right now].

I like the idea of push notifications replacing SMS for me, but I still want emails. More importantly, I think customers should be able to opt in and out of any type of notification at will, either via internet/mobile banking or via [those SMS-type things where there are options like “press 1 for x, press 2 for y, press 3 to cancel”]. It shouldn’t be rocket science.


Oh, you meant push notification from the banks’ mobile app. Awesome! It is clearer now. That makes a lot of sense and the images you shared, spot on :+1:t5:.

I agree with you, mobile notifications would help. A few of the upcoming payment apps are going to implement this, but they also have to find a way to do this and still keep us safe. What will work outside Nigeria, may not work in Nigeria as there are cultural and market differences that need to be looked at and catered to.

When I read your post, I thought you were also talking about push notification from the other communication channels. So one could get notifications in WhatsApp or via a Messenger bot. Hence my question.


Oh, he understood me. He edited it.

No need to ‘laugh’ (LMAO or Lol) at his suggestions, they are actually very valid and innovative. Try to understand what he is suggesting and research on it, it is one part of the HOOK model.


New fintech apps are applying it and improving their user experience. Fintechs like Monzo use push/app notifications well.

Also, a few other Nigerian ones I worked with in the past year are also implementing it. They should hit the market soon.

I am not entirely sure what he meant by bespoke credit alerts, but it could be credit alerts that are tailored to the individual’s personal experiences and expenses. Look at the second image he shared above for an idea on this.

The push notifications make a lot of sense especially as it is a better external trigger to bring the user back to the bank’s services. This is a good engagement push especially with so many banks around. It also helps make the usage of the bank’s app habitual.


This is an interesting response to ‘Lmao’ and ‘LOL’. I engaged with the topic, gave an opinion and discussed my experience with push notifications from my bank, laughed when I was amused, etc. To that end, forgive me if I’m confused by your decision to respond with illustrations of push notifications and the Hook Model (without explaining which part is relevant - as would be expected of a good researcher).

For the record @MrASulaiman, because text doesn’t always adequately convey tone, I was not being condescending with my ‘laughter’. I was genuinely amused, and was typing as if I was chatting with a friend.



Hey @aixen, I’m sure I edited only one or two typo errors. :wink:

At first; yes! That’s why I said I was petty. Then I started thinking of favorable notification alternatives banks could imbibe and it hit me Nigerian banks are yet to explore Push Notifications.

More in the line of what @sprime referred to.

Like; N1,500 at Filmhouse. Your balance is now N1,235,000.22


Sincerely didn’t take offense. I knew he was being friendly. I’ve read over 20.8K post on radar and I can tell the difference when a person is coming for my head.


Banks can. They just won’t. That N2 profit on each transaction alert is sweet. If one bank, maybe a Providus or someone smaller, pushes alerts then the others might react if they see it as something affecting their bottom line.


Exactly my point. Wondering which bank will take the lead. :sweat:


@sprime your responses on this thread are quite bemusing.
To be honest, I’m surprised at the modus operandi you are policing Radar.