BANKING; IS IT ALL ABOUT CONVENIENCE?

BANKING; IS IT ALL ABOUT CONVENIENCE?

Leonard hurriedly disembarked from his car. He had come to make a small withdraw of a small amount of money only to find a long queue at the ATM machine. He decided to get into the banking hall. To his surprise, the queue inside was twice longer than that at the ATM machine. It was hot, Leonard couldn’t withstand the conditions at the ATM machine.

As events took place, I happened to be the one serving at the inquiries desk. Tired, stressed and frustrated Leonard approached me, ‘’good afternoon.’’ ‘’The queues are so long yet I need money now.’’ ‘’Are you registered on mobile banking,’’ I asked? Unfortunately he did not know his registration status. I asked for his phone to establish his registration status. Indeed Leonard was registered only that he didn’t know how to use the service.

I took him through the whole process and he was able to access his money through mobile phone. ‘’This is so nice,’’ excited Leonard screamed at the top of his voice that he caught everyone’s attention who was in the banking hall. ‘’ You may never see me here again. You mean I can bank, withdraw money and check my account balance on my phone! There is no need for the bank. I love doing everything using my phone and now that I can do banking on phone, I am good to go.’’ Noted Leonard.

What exactly is electronic banking about?

Electronic banking is the use of electronic means to transfer funds directly form one account to another rather than by check or cash. It’s an electronic payment system that enables customers of a bank to conduct a range of financial transactions through a website, ATM, online and mobile phones contrary to the traditional banking model.

Electronic banking dates as a way back from the 1980’s. Having stated as a home banking in the early 1980, electronic banking has evolved through the years. Electronic banking through the years. Electronic banking has made banking of the 21st century very convenient. A person can now view account balances, get a mini statement through the phone or website, order a cheque book, pay bills, buy airtime and transfer money to another account at your comfort.

A report by the US Federal Reserve (March 2012) found that 21 percent of mobile phone owners had used mobile banking in the past 12 months. Based on a survey conducted by Forrester, mobile banking will be attractive mainly to the younger, more tech- savvy customer segment. A third of mobile phone users say they consider performing some kind of financial transaction through their mobile phone. But more of the users are interested in performing basic transactions such as querying for account balance and making bill payment.

Why change from traditional banking?

Where do winds of change come from? The world is changing so fast. Technologic advancement is the way to go. It calls for us to adopt and change instantly. Technology is changing the face of working landscape. The recent developments of robots in China that do write and edit articles is a clear indication how the world is evolving at a very fast rate. Technology has made everything simpler in all aspects of life. Hence people have to embrace it. The benefits of electronic banking are enormous with the most important being convenience to access your account.

To get the practical insight about electronic banking, I spoke to different bank managers about the future of banking. They all had one thing in common, leveraging to grow their revenue baseline. Electronic banking provides for banking anytime which is contrary to traditional banking were the branch opens for a specific time. Most banks have 8:00am to 5:00pm banking. Electronic banking is cost effective. It costs only 10% of branch service. Despite the fact that the benefits of technology in the banking sector are already being recognized, there are a few customers who are hesitant to electronic banking.

Financial institutions on the contrary have embraced the service. The attention however is pretty obvious. Diminished transition costs, easier integration of services such as bill payment, account balances, statement requests are all in one package. Less congestion in banking halls and other benefits that boost customer list and profit margins.

Is my money safe in wires?

Every cloud has a silver lining. Isn’t electronic banking a silent storm? Commercial banks have lost millions through ATM frauds hence having reputation risk to the institution. Network downtime has affected the mobile phone banking platform once a client release a discrepancy in a transition they may not want to risk the second time.

The privacy issue has become even more salient as it was before with the arrival of mobile data networks. A number of important new concerns have emerged mainly stemming from the fact that mobile devices are intimately personal and are always with the user. Four major concerns can be identified: mobile spam, personal identification, location information and wireless security.

 Is electronic banking a threat to tellers?

Jennifer, a teller in one of the banks shared with me that since her clients got on board with mobile phone banking, queues have since then reduced and she never gets up with them. But her job is secure since she still has to attend to other clients who prefer the traditional way. I have a number of clients who after enrolling them on mobile banking promised never to appear in the banking hall. Indeed they have fulfilled their promise. They find the phone self- sufficient hence no need to waste the time standing in the banking halls. This informed to start thinking about my career choice.

Convenience guaranteed?

The future of banking is about convenience and providing platforms that are ready to meet customer expectations. The increasing mobile phone penetration, internet usage presents huge opportunities for digital banking platforms to spur off. Clients are busy people. So giving them options that enable them to do banking at the finger tips is timely. Hope our banks are moving towards digital.

SOURCE: SUMMITBUSINESS REVIEW. JUNE 2016/ VOL.08 ISSUE 13