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“Hello Inconvenience” is what these mobile banking apps are screaming

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.

Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

5 thoughts on ““Hello Inconvenience” is what these mobile banking apps are screaming

  1. That is so true. It took almost 4weeks to have internet banking activated with CBZ! I initially wanted to open an account while I was outside zim and they said that I could apply online. To my surprise i could only fill in the forms online then download the filled form then print it and courier the forms to them. So inconvenient! It’s still an outdated approach to things.

  2. I have given up on zim and yes i am still in zim.I am techie and aproaching 30 so i have had a fair shair of understanding of how things are supposed to go….i was in kenya a few weeks ago and the difference why zim will always be like this in terms of technology is …… other countries are enablers of technology like kenya while we thrive to shut the whole internet down……. if you think about it , almost every online app used by banks or other companies will require you to visit them physically….which is B*S* ……and think about if you want to build an app that uses the most popular payment gateways ,the APIs are hidden and you still need to go there and feel in some 30 paged pdf docs

  3. In all fairness, it is not entirely the banks’ fault. Even though the banks themselves are not doing enough to circumvent the cause. One of the key hurdles lies in the RBZ regulation whereupon all users of bank accounts must go through some form of KYC (know your customer) and anti-money laundering vetting. Granted they need to act against such but when legislation becomes burdensome to the extend that it does not benefit anyone then thats a problem. Its like the CIRES thing in ivory. we cannot sell $9 billion’s worth (two year national budget) because of some international law that we still subscribe to even though we are in an abnormal economy with no currency of its own. The same should be done with these local AML rules that subscribe to some Besel numeral developed in a mormal and progressive economy. Let me give an example…. While someone could walk into a supermarket and buy a prepaid ATM/Mobile/App bank account, they cannot because of these rules. Shouldnt there be a threshold say $500 after which a flag will trigger on the payment grid if suspicious use is detected? Oh wait we still do not have ACH with all payments going through (again RBZ).

    i could go on to talk about how you cant walk in and buy a prepaid cellphone in Zimbabwe and some african countries because you need to register a line in your name blah blah blah. Over regulation, protectionism, entitlement, monopolist mentality….

  4. Mitemo iyo iri kwese, ku SA kune FICA. I think the issue is that they don’t have the money to modify their computer systems. FNB, as an example is very swift in introducing features. Inongori nyaya ye nhamo, plus vanhu vari kuIT yema bank ayo havanyatso ziva zvavari kuita. vanogona basa takatiza, tiri kushandira dzimwe nyika

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