Like V bank, Ajorin is an idea whose time has come

Early March this year when we launched V Bank – Nigeria’s truly virtual bank – Nigeria had only confirmed her index case of coronavirus eleven days before.

By nightfall of the same day, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced a second case. Yet, we had no inkling of the many months of lockdown ahead, nor how life was about to change for a lot of Nigerians (and us) by virtue of the pandemic; and how this product we had newly launched was going to become a ray of hope in the new normal that would set in in the following weeks.

But we had one thing: a vision – to be Nigeria’s foremost financial services provider. And we would devote our daily goal to finding, investing, acquiring, and building solutions that helped that vision shine brighter while upholding the highest ethics and professionalism.

Nine months later, we have successfully built, from the ground up, a product that has found a home all over the country and are currently upgrading the system to increase its capacity and essentially, to do more for our customers.

The story of V Bank would not exist without our microfinance bank. VFD Microfinance Bank was licensed in 2015 as a subsidiary of VFD Group with a mandate to become an industry standard and a household name in the provision of end-to-end digital banking, creating a lifestyle banking experience for banking customers.

V Bank is a demonstration of the end-to-end digital banking whereby banking is provided via the app – V by VFD (available in both Play and iOS stores), Chat banking – where you can set up an account and transact in Whatsapp, USSD – *5037# for transactions, and a referral programme that allows you earn up to two million naira monthly! A reward sum unrivaled by all standards.

For a lot of young individuals and small businesses banking with V, in addition to the availability of alternative channels for instant and seamless transacting, perhaps the unique endearing point remains that you never lose money with V. Rather, V offers a zero charge flat rate for transfers, account or card maintenance, and SMS notifications; and even provides loans to businesses. In other words, we have delivered to the market what the market wants.

In so many ways, the story of how V has come to become the choice of more than 200,000 people and businesses all around Nigeria, cruising through a pandemic, is the same way metal artistry is coming of age.

In addition to being a lover of arts and owner of a few pieces myself, when I was first told of this exhibition, I had no doubts that this was a right cause to commit to. Yes, everyone loves the underdog, but I was especially concerned to hear of such great talents and the undervaluing their craftmanship was (I say ‘was’ because I believe this is about to change) subjected to. Empathy 360 is one of our five pillars at VFD hence so it was only natural to commit to Ovie on this Ajorin Dancemetalphor Exhibition hosted by Thoughts Pyramid Art Centre in Lagos.

Like V bank riding the waves of the pandemic, I hope that this exhibition will provide the needed catapult for metal artistry and artists, established and coming up. And like an idea whose time has come, I do hope that you find this atmosphere truly inspiring and more importantly, buy a piece or two to boost the morale of the artists and to support the industry.

For the love of the arts!

Nonso Okpala, GMD/CEO VFD Group   

Nonso Okpala is the GMD/CEO of VFD Group (Viadaz FD Limited), a financial services holdings company in Nigeria with interests in foreign exchange, debt investment, international remittance, real estate, and payment businesses. He is a serial investor and entrepreneur.

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