Clickatell Extends Leadership in Banking with Sterling Bank Plc Nigeria’s CardGuard

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New fraud protection service underscores Clickatell’s expansion in Nigeria and leadership as the top messaging services provider for financial institutions across Africa

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The mobile phone is a powerful customer service channel that helps us respond immediately to our customers while providing an extra layer of protection, for them and for us, against fraudulent activities

Clickatell, the global leader in mobile communications specializing in SMS messaging as a service, today announced that Sterling Bank has launched its CardGuard fraud protection service using Clickatell’s award-winning messaging platform. The addition of Sterling Bank Plc Nigeria to its stable of financial services organizations across Africa extends Clickatell’s leadership as the top banking message provider on the Continent. Expanding into Nigeria, Clickatell is responding to rising customer demand for messaging services that deliver to end users more information and services via their mobile phone.

A first among Nigerian banks, Sterling Bank Plc Nigeria’s CardGuard incorporates the customer’s mobile phone into its network of services. Banks across Africa have tapped into the ubiquity of the mobile phone to interact with their customers and enlist their help in monitoring card activity for fraudulent charges. Clickatell works with the largest banks in South Africa and Kenya, for example, to provide SMS messaging for banking customer service and fraud monitoring, and that trend has now come to Nigeria with Sterling Bank. With CardGuard, Sterling Bank Plc Nigeria customers can now use their mobile devices to freeze their account should they note a fraudulent withdrawal.

“The mobile phone is a powerful customer service channel that helps us respond immediately to our customers while providing an extra layer of protection, for them and for us, against fraudulent activities,” said Devendra Puri, Executive Director, Operations and Technology of Sterling Bank Plc Nigeria. “Clickatell comes with a wealth of experience in working with financial services providers and we wanted a leading partner in launching this valuable new product. The cost-effective and reliable service that Clickatell provides helped us to improve our customer relationship and protect our bottom line while opening a new revenue source with new mobile capabilities.”

Sterling Bank Plc Nigeria is one of the thousands of brands worldwide that are discovering new ways to engage customers, and their own employees and partners, using the ubiquity of SMS messaging. Almost all of the world’s five billion mobile phones are able to at least receive SMS text messages. One of the world’s largest providers of SMS services, Clickatell has provided customers with real-time, priority alert messaging through its Secure Enterprise Mobile Messaging Gateway since 2000. Clickatell works with developers worldwide to build applications that help brands increase customer contact and conversation, form social communities, motivate and reward buying or referral behavior, deliver just-in-time deals and incentives, as well as prompt usage, consumption or purchase. Additionally, organizations tap Clickatell for programs that assist partners and employees with process or operational improvement, cost reduction initiatives, disaster avoidance, emergency management and a host of other mission-critical goals.

“We have a broad range of experiences from working with banks throughout Africa and we’re pleased to be expanding into the Nigerian banking market with our new relationship with Sterling Bank,” said Pieter de Villiers, CEO of Clickatell. “Consumers are demanding their favorite brands provide greater interaction and capabilities through their mobile phone and Sterling Bank is out front in responding with its clever new CardGuard service.”

About Sterling Bank Plc Nigeria
Sterling Bank Plc Nigeria originally incorporated in 1960 as Nigeria Acceptances Limited (NAL) was licensed as Nigeria’s first merchant bank in 1969. Consequent to the indigenization decree of 1972, the Bank became fully government owned and was managed in partnership with Grindlays Bank Limited, Continental International Finance Company Illinois and American Express Bank Limited between 1974 and 1992. In 1992, the Bank was partly privatized and listed as a public company on the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) and in 2000 the government sold its residual interest in the bank, effectively making it a fully privatized institution.

In January, 2006, as part of the consolidation of the Nigerian banking industry, NAL Bank completed a merger with four other Nigerian Banks namely Magnum Trust Bank, NBM Bank, Trust Bank of Africa and Indo-Nigeria Merchant Bank (INMB) and adopted the Sterling Bank name. The merged entities were successfully integrated and have operated as a consolidated group ever since. The Bank currently operates as a fully diversified universal bank with footprints in Investment Banking, Asset management, Stockbrokerage, Savings and Loans, Pension Funds Management, Insurance Brokerage and Registrar Services, with strong profitability and a highly qualified and experienced management team. Over the past three and a half years, we have taken great strides achieving profitability in our first year of operation. To learn more, visit http://www.sterlingbankng.com.

About Clickatell, Inc.
Clicaktell – the global leader in Personalized Priority Messaging through all mobile devices – is the largest Online SMS mobile messaging gateway in the world, covering 869 networks in 223 countries and territories, with the potential to reach 5 billion mobile phone users - more than 70 percent of the world’s population. Clickatell enables simpler, quicker and more verifiable delivery of high-value, just-in-time, individualized communications and associated mobile transactional services. Its carrier-grade mobile messaging solutions have been embraced by more than 13,000 enterprise, government, medium and small business customers and application developers. Founded in South Africa in 2000, Clickatell is based in Redwood City, Calif. To learn more, visit http://www.clickatell.com.

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