Digital banking is the delivery of banking services over the internet or mobile networks. In this case, the customer doesn’t have to be present in the bank to carry out a host of transactions such as cash withdrawal, indirect cash deposits, money transfer, payments of utility bills, balance rate enquiry, interest rate enquiry, transaction history, statement of account, opening accounts, password change, payment for products and services.
All of these transactions can be carried out through the internet, mobile phones or ATM machines. Clearly, digital banking comes with lots of advantages, but not without its disadvantages as well.
With the proliferation of smartphones and the subsidization of internet data rates, a good number of Nigerians have adopted digital banking due to advantages such as 24/7 services, speed, cost saving, time saving, efficiency, convenience and high level of security.
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Despite these list of advantages almost every digital banking customer in Nigeria has had a problem with this service at one point or the other.
This is why this post aims at highlighting the problems of digital banking in Nigeria as well as suggest possible solutions.
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1. Ease of use
Some of these digital banking platforms i.e mobile apps and software aren’t easy to use. Most of them come with a poorly developed user interface, making it difficult to navigate.
This poses a great challenge for the customers and their willingness to adopt digital banking as most of them would rather abandon the platform than embark on trial and error with their hard earned money, since they are quite aware of the rigorous processes involved in retrieving misplaced funds, if it will ever be retrieved.
It is important for banks to make this digital banking platforms user friendly as this will improve customer experience and also attract more customers.
It is also necessary to reduce the amount of processes required for a transaction while also improving security. Customers should also be given a chance to rate, point out errors and suggest ways to improve the services provided by these digital banking platform. This will also go a long way in boosting the confidence of the customers.
There have been rigorous media campaign to sensitize Nigerians on the possible security risks associated with using digital banking.
This is due to the recent rise in cases of identity theft and card cloning. This campaigns have further discouraged the set of customers that were skeptical as well as those that have fallen victim to these fraudulent acts.
A lot of Nigerians now shy away from owning debit cards or having the mobile banking apps on their phone as there are rising reports of phone and debit card snatching at gun point with the owners forced to reveal their pins after which withdrawals will be made in moments.
3. Poor mobile network and internet services
Bad mobile network and internet service is also one of the major problems affecting digital banking in Nigeria. A lot of customers don’t use digital banking because of the poor or unreliable network reception in most parts of the country.
Bad network is a major obstacle as it can lead to unnecessary mistakes which can be costly, as money is involved most times.
As a personal experience, bad network has caused me to pay multiple times for a product online. Sometimes the speed of SMS alert is slowed down by the network, making it difficult to detect and report cases of fraud on time, as most times, the victim’s account would have been emptied before the SMS alert comes in.
Digital banking cannot effectively work in an environment with poor mobile network reception, that’s why its important that mobile and internet service providers improve upon their services so as to curb digital banking problems related to poor network services.
4. Poor customer service
Nigeria’s digital banking service providers are normally known for their slow response to emergency cases, which has caused a lot of monetary losses.
Customers that have fallen prey to fraudsters through digital banking have lost a huge amount of money. This could have been averted if there was a timely intervention from the banks.
There should be an active 24/7 emergency quick response hotline to enable timely response to emergency fraud cases and other forms of emergency and complaints such as correcting mistakes made during transaction.
5. Lack of Adequate Maintenance
Continuous monitoring and adequate maintenance have always been a problem in Nigeria. Even the digital banking service providers are not spared of this rot.
There have been numerous reported cases of hardware malfunction due to lack of maintenance. Most times, the customers are always at the receiving end.
Cases of ATM machine malfunction is a typical example of this sort of situation. A carefully planned maintenance routine by the banks will help reduce cases of hardware malfunction and this will in turn boost customer’s confidence. Aside, hardware maintenance, routine database maintenance is also very important.
6. Lack of customer trust
Loss of trust is part of the reasons why digital banking is feared by most bank customers, they fear for the safety of their money as they know that a simple mistake online can cost them all their savings.
Therefore it is important that banks strive to reinforce customer trust amidst wide spread negative publicity due to high cases of fraud associated with digital banking.
Banks should also create awareness on digital banking security and importance of keeping access details personal. Banks must also ensure that every precaution is taken to ensure the security of customer’s funds as well as the speedy retrieval of lost funds.
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