So my bank just launched a mobile app. And SMS messages have been coming to let us know they have caught up with the times. Messages like this one:
Have you downloaded your NMBMobile App now? Yes? Then, visit your nearest branch with your debit card to activate. Hello Convenience!
No. Hello Inconvenience.
Like apps by other banks (hello CBZ!) this certainly feels like an online solution for a business still in offline mode. Why do I still need to visit a branch, especially when I’m already offered internet banking by the same bank.
Strangely this offline mode is still true even for internet banking itself. At CABS, it took us at least 2 weeks to have our account enabled for internet banking. Took about the same time activating internet banking for an NMB account.
While all this is happening, banks time and again wonder why customers like me are an unhappy lot. Three years ago, after a painful experience attempting to open an account at a local bank, I wrote:
So there I was walking out of the bank one hour later, with no account, and only some hope that come Friday (today), and only if I make the trip to the bank, I may be lucky enough to be granted a bank account by these gods of money.
It’s not my first dissatisfactory experience at the hands of a bank, and it’s frustrating especially as most speak so loud about innovation. Frustrating that in this age of connectedness, I somehow still have to bear the cost of accessing the branch.
Sadly, the branch mentality is alive and well in 2016.