HARARE – The Banking industry is in a digital arms race. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve seen local banks – in line with global trends, accelerating digital innovation which is key in optimising the customer experience. For many retail banks, online and mobile channels have become as important – if not more important than branches and ATMs.
This exciting journey gained momentum or perhaps more attention in the COVID era, but it dates back to pre-COVID times. From a development perspective, the rate of digital adoption by the local banks is encouraging.
This week’s column focuses on Nedbank Zimbabwe Limited, a commercial bank previously known as MBCA Bank, prior to rebranding to its present name. In last week’s ‘Tech Review’ column we covered zero-rating for which Nedbank is among the few commercial banks offering the service in Zimbabwe.
Nedbank recently launched a “reloaded zero data enhanced mobile app” which emphasises how important investing in digital technologies could benefit customer acquisition and satisfaction.
The App is packed with new and improved features including Zero Data Rating, SME & Business Banking Registration and Biometric Login, “for banking with endless possibilities” as the Bank states.
“The zero rating of the application has also come with a new look Nedbank banking app. Besides the new sleek looking user interface, Nedbank has added:
1. Biometric login which they are calling “spoof proof”.
2. A new account opening facilities for ease of access.
3. Instant query logging for any errors or mishaps.
4. Foreign currency banking.
SME & Business mobile banking registration”.
Optimising the customer experience
Investing in these areas empowers the customer and enabling them access to a full range of financial services in a fresh, colourful and personalised user experience.
But satisfaction is relative. The application as with others offering zero data rating is only accessible to Econet subscribers. In the previous week’s column, I posed the question, “What about NetOne and Telecel users?” The difference here will most likely influence customers’ perspectives on this development. However, this may just be for the mobile service providers to answer and not necessarily the banks.
Remote Banking as a revenue opportunity
COVID-19 has taught businesses that if you haven’t invested in digital platforms, you can easily run out of business. Nedbank’s reloaded mobile app, in my view, multiply value creation because it enables customers to conduct business on USSD or online via the Bank’s website and the app, while for the organisation breaking physical barriers ensures business continuity, thus all participants are able to capture value.
Upgrading the user experience
The user experience in banking platforms has become increasingly more important in recent years. As such, investment in digital transformation has increased, with capital allocated to improving back-office as well as front-end applications.
User experience remains in the spotlight and is a key determinant in the digital arms race. Banks are leading innovation in partnership with other service providers. Banks that are embracing innovation understand that losing the primary contact with their customers was one of the biggest risks caused by the new digital ecosystem and changing business priorities during COVID-19.
EQUITY AXIS NEWS