Banking is Getting Easier

09 March 2017 ‐ 4 min read

E-commerce and the advent of mobile applications that enable consumers to skip the queue or shop from the comfort of their own homes has been one of the most exciting (and welcomed) revolutions of our time. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to pay your bills, buy clothing, purchase your monthly groceries or even scoop up a few great deals…and you don’t even need to find parking first.

But even as mobile applications and online offerings mature, there are often instances where you just can’t avoid making a physical trip to a store or branch. Perhaps you need to return a defective item or, of course, when you need to submit important paperwork to your bank. Luckily, innovators and creators at our financial institutions are making great strides in simplifying those bugbears, and we’re pretty sure you’ll be able to do many of things a little more easily soon. We’ve come a long way since you had to chat to your bank manager and check the branch ledger book for information on your savings account.

Security

Convenient financial transactions are great, but security is a critical standpoint. Of course, no expense is usually spared in securing online services, but sometimes there are still concerning situations. For example, earlier this year, Standard Bank revealed that more than 300 million Rand had been stolen during a coordinated ATM fraud incident. It was a wakeup call for our South African financial institutions, at a time when more and more consumers are moving their financial transactions online. While security remains a priority for banks, new ways of authenticating users when they log on to transact are being rolled out. FNB’s fifth iteration of its mobile banking application implemented fingerprint verification and new ways to ‘tap and pay’.

Transactional Services

About that banking…every time a bank releases a new version of their application, new features are added to make their clients’ lives a little easier. Nowadays, users can report their cards lost or stolen on the Standard Bank mobile application, change their electronic limits and easily add or amend beneficiaries, rather than having to log in via their desktop computer or laptop. Interestingly, Capitec actually discounts some transactions when their clients use their mobile application to transact – for example, making a payment to a beneficiary costs half of what it normally would if it were made in branch. Nedbank’s App Suite makes easy for clients to do their daily banking and transact from wherever they need to be. Earlier this year, ABSA re-launched its online offering and mobile application, focusing more on providing a more ‘always on’ service.

24/7 Service From Your Bank

And that’s where it’s become interesting. Taking into consideration security concerns and enabling clients to bank more easily, the concept of 24/7 banking is taking hold. Nowadays, Standard Bank clients can chat to a virtual banker via Facebook Messenger or WeChat, and ABSA introduced ChatBanking, which enables clients to perform transactions through Twitter and Facebook. Who would’ve thought we’d be banking while sharing animated cat GIFs online?  

Dealing With Downtime

Of course, every server has to go down sometime and, when it does at a bank, it has rather inconvenient results for that bank’s clientele. FNB’s recent downtime set off a string of customer dissatisfaction but they did something good in response: they kept communicating. That’s an important part of managing an outage for any company, but it’s mission critical when you’re the guardian of people’s financial wellbeing, and their ability to operate in the real world. As more and more clients become attracted to moving their banking online and become more comfortable with transacting online, through a variety of platforms, it’s vital that financial institutions focus on maintaining communication and regularly updating their clients. This serves a dual purpose: not only are they assuring their clients that a solution is being uncovered, but it’s also maintaining a relationship of trust: something that’s vital in this online, instant-on world we live in today.