I’m not too sure whether I’m the only one, but at one stage I had an account with almost every bank. Yes, every bank. This was a follow through from the rough years of 2007-2009, where one had to be able to be “connected” in order to receive their payments instantly.
However, when I walk the Harare CBD my heart bleeds at the ques I see outside banking halls and I have flash backs of 2008! The memories of that era still haunt us and anyone not setting out to ease the pain is just making it worse. This is me reaching out to banks so that the little confidence in the banking system that we have as customers, can be maintained.
1. More Merchants On Board
When you look at it, people want cash for one reason or another. Not many of us are willing to stand in the que for hours just so that we can get our hands on cash and stare at it the whole day. We want it so that we can make payment – ‘pass it on’ literally.
There are a handful of main reasons why someone would want cash: rent, food, transport or entertainment.
If someone like the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe could see to it that the reason why people want that cash, the customers can swipe for it, then that would be awesome. The initiative that Ecocash trialed, not once but twice, is something to be considered and it was pleasing to see Steward Bank realising this during Christmas and going to Mbare Bus Terminus so that travellers could pay using their bank cards.
2. Let me do my shopping
One of the most frustrating things that one has to do is block out their day and stand in a que. Some of the times no-one tells you what’s going on, whether there is cash and if there isn’t any cash what time it will be coming? These banks that are ‘striving for innovation‘ could essentially get their customers to ‘check in’ using their phone/app and allow that customer to go about their business, being sent an SMS/notification when they’re 10-15 mins from the front of the que.
Even better, they could give their clients a number of spots where they can go to and check out, the library, a park, a mall nearby? That way I could hopefully get up to some other business and spend no more than 15 mins in the bank que when I join it. Essentially me ‘making an appointment’ of sorts, with my bank.
3. Entertain me, at your cost
There is nothing that I’ve done (besides banking with you) that necessitates me being subjected to hours in a bank que. I’ve opted to bring you business and when I do, treat me like the king that I am (I’m told “the customer is king”).
It was heartening to see Acie Lumumba take the initiative and offer some food and drink, but where was the bank in this equation?
Dear banks, your customers wake up early in order to com to your banking halls and que for long hours hoping to get THEIR money and a number of times they do this without having had a meal that morning. The least you could do is give those that are queing something, even break and tea, to show that you empathise with them.
But this might cost the bank money you say? Yes, then the bank should see to it that the customers don’t que for longer than 10 minutes and be on their way. Surely the possible productive man-hours spent in bank ques can’t only borne by the customer only and banks need to step up to the plate.
I may be hoping for too much, but I think that as a customer I should it least be treated like I’m needed and appreciated – it’s because of me that you come to work after all.
What do you think banks can do differently? We know they read Techzim and I’m sure they’d be interested in this feed
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