Tony Ademiluyi: What Nigerians love and dislike about Mobile Banking Apps

Going to the bank physically for transactions is fast becoming history for most people especially for the young and upwardly mobile millennial generation. Why go through the stress of a bank queue when you can transact the same business from the comfort of your home or anywhere far from the bank with a mobile banking app? The COVID-19 pandemic which saw a total and partial lockdown forced many analogue customers to switch to the use of the mobile app.

The apps have their good and downsides, but we will state what users dislike about these apps first.

Apps that throw up challenges which ensure that the customer often struggles to login, access personal account statements real time, check account balance and transfer money often get the thumbs down. Same for apps that crash frequently after new updates, have regular failed transactions, and challenges with setting up and resetting user pins, among others. These issues irritate mobile banking app users to no end leading them to make spiteful online remarks, reviews, and social media posts. In extreme cases, users uninstall the app.

On the other hand, customers love apps that allow easy and hitch free payment of bills, airtime purchase, account statement generation, and new account opening. The customer experience on such apps are fully digital making physical visits to a bank branch irrelevant. This gives customers joy during this current COVID-19 pandemic where a lot of emphasis is being placed on social distancing.

A technology blog: Techeconomy did a survey of the best mobile banking apps in 2020 and ranked the OneBank app of Sterling Bank as the best in 2020 among apps surveyed. ALAT by Wema, GTWorld, Zenith Bank Mobile App and the Stanbic IBTC Bank app made the Top Five List but were ranked lower than OneBank.

OneBank is much loved for allowing Sterling Bank customers to get loans up to five million naira in five minutes, make investments, and do forex transfers without entering a bank branch. Other features attracting users to the app include its use to withdraw cash without a credit or debit card on ATMs, creation of online virtual cards and its best kept secret – the panic password. It does all of these in addition to everything other bank apps do.

As consumers rely more on mobile apps to perform tasks, they once trusted branches to perform, they become more demanding. Disappointing experiences while using apps evoke strong emotions which are often expressed on social media. For a lot of Nigerians, especially the youths, mobile banking apps are as vital – if not more vital – than basic communication apps such like email. And they would continue to show love for apps in the category of OneBank for bundling what should require more than two to three apps into one.

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