Digital and Online banking in Nigeria has deepened the banking transaction. With the fast adoption of internet banking which is helped by the fast deployment of the ubiquitous broadband internet connectivity, Nigerians are begining to go back to the days of yore which is long ques in the bank due to the majority of Nigerian banking ineptitude and to a large extent inefficiency in the online banking transaction.
With issues like incomplete transaction,random debiting and reversal taking a long time , sometimes forever to reverse, Nigerians are begging for a global standard practice but it seems that the apex regulatory authority either standing akimbo, confused or either the banks are not complying but as it is today, a lot of Nigerians have confidence in their piggybank or what they call in Lagos “kolo”
“Don’t you have a mobile app?” “Why don’t you use our USSD platforms?” , ” This transaction can’t fly , we would recommend that you use the online platforms ” and a whole lot of statement that we get from a fancy dressing ladies in the banking halls ! What they don’t understand is that majority of Nigerians have tried these platforms and are just so sick and tired. Tired of what? The banks inability to deploy robust online, USSD and digital banking platforms. With a lot of people having to make either payments, transfers and debited without the other end receiving it. This means a long walk to the bank and in most cases they would tell you to wait for ten or fourteen working days! Now this is the situation in most banks.
A walk into the average Nigerian bank today would see customers centre or point besieged with complaints from card issues, incomplete transaction and most importantly debiting which hasn’t reflected. The man hour and productive time wasted in these banks is astronomical. As it is now, many Nigerian banks and organisations don’t seem to understand the concept of time as a critical factor of production and customers must wait for hours in lines due to a no fault of theirs.
As we emerge into a post covid-19 narrative,the need for social distancing becomes more imperative and unavoidable. Many people would resort to digital banking and how robust this platforms are is not certain. This writer was so phobia of online banking transaction that he went to inside banking hall to make a transfer to another bank for a critical issue. He has been so beaten by debited ans not reversed immediately,that he choose to go inside the banking hall! Guess what! He filled the bank form for a transfer to another bank just yesterday being Friday around 8.35 am till now,the recipient haven’t received the money and the bank is claiming that the transaction completed! This is the challenge of the average Nigerian in the era of “digital” banking ! The USSD case is so scared that the writer have refused to go into that areas. As of mobile app! That is another kettle fish.
Being there ,done that,the Nigerian banking space must come to understand that the need to offer world class service matters,with their services off ,going to ATM weekends are so scary that many are having service problem! The best bet, go into the bank make your withdrawal and go home !
Is it as a result of high transaction? Is it as a result of high customers? Is it as a result of inability to meet up with the requirements of the modern era and also unavailability of robust internet connectivity? Nigerians have asked these critical questions and are demanding answers. With the way these banking issues are going on especially in cities like Lagos , Nigerians might go back to the age of piggybank, which would hieghten the security issues.
A friend would say that, for you to know how efficient the Nigerian banking system is , save ten thousand naira in your savings account and don’t touch it for six months and know if the money would be intact , nobody is taking about interest here, but to get your money intact without deductions like card maintenance fees, account maintaining fees and all what not. Not all the banks are guilty of this but an overwhelming majority are! That is the truth.
Many Banks must understand that the narrative is changing and there is a paradigm shift! It is no more brick and mortar, CBN must start working with fintech to deepen digital banking processes , as it is today, it seems that the traditional banks are overwhelmed with issues and then work in hand with the Nigerian communication commission (NCC) to enable the telecommunications firms to deploy mobile payments as it is done in Kenya which Mpesa is leading the pack.
The need for collaboration is needed. As Nigerians are quick to adopt digital platforms,the need for banks to up their games is critical here. Any bank that is offering robust online and digital banking platforms would lead the pack not those that donate huge amount to government or engaging in unnecessary endorsement deals and fashion shows.