The drumbeat for payments and all things digital has been beating loud and long (and annoying, almost like a banshee!). At face value, this seems to be one thing customers and banks can agree about.
Banks don’t want customers in the branches anymore (because it cost more to serve them in-branch) and customers don’t even want to go to the branches to do transactions. It cost more to get there; the tellers aren’t as pretty as before; you could spend the last years of your life stuck in traffic and lastly; woe betide you if your favorite branch got robbed, a junior thief could use your pot belly for target practice.
Unfortunately, while it seems there is an agreement, almost every bank seems to struggle with getting customers online.
Many issues are to blame.
The processes are designed by sadists who don’t understand what customers want or able to even let the customers know what needs to be done online.
Even when the processes can be decrypted by the CIA and NSA, it mostly involves a trip to the banking hall.
But then, good news is, sadists are getting a change of heart and banks are seeing the light. Hallelujah.
Curiosity killed the cat
In the age where Zenith, Wema, etc. let you open an account with your USSD code, I was wondering if these banks won’t let me have internet banking without seeing their shops. So huddling with a friend, we trolled banks to find out the current processes of getting customers to register for Internet banking (hey, we didn’t touch mobile, don’t beef!) and whoa, we have an intriguing result.
Out of the 21 banks surveyed, 57% or 12 of them allow you to start and end your registration for online banking. However, most would want you to view just your balances. You must still ferry your backside to a branch to get token.
Of the lot that really understand the perspective of the customer, 50% of them allow you to complete the end-to-end enrollment and start doing transactions without any branch visit. Kudos to their product management team – you guys have balls!
|Bank||End-to-end self-enrollment?||Self-enrollment allows transactions?||Authentication method|
|Access Bank||Yes||No||Valid account number to register; an activation code is sent to registered email and mobile number via SMS|
|Diamond Bank||No||Not applicable||Download and fill form and submit at branch|
|Ecobank||Yes||Yes||Valid account number to get OTP via SMS|
|FCMB||Yes||Yes||Use valid account number, use Debit card information to validate|
|Fidelity Bank||Yes||Yes||Use account number to get OTP, fill online form, use debit card information to validate, download a token app and start doing transactions.|
|First Bank||No||Not applicable||Call FirstContact to begin registration or visit a branch|
|Guaranty Trust Bank||No||Not applicable||Download and fill form and then submit at branch for activation|
|Heritage Bank||No||Not applicable||Register online, print and take to branch for activation|
|Jaiz Islamic Bank||No||Not applicable||Download and fill form and then submit at branch for activation|
|Keystone Bank||No||Not applicable||Download and fill form and then submit at branch for activation|
|Providus Bank||Yes||Use valid customer ID, OTP sent via SMS|
|Skye Bank||No||Not applicable||Register online, print and take to branch for activation|
|Stanbic IBTC||Yes||Yes||Use valid account number and phone number; set up secret questions, OTP is sent via SMS|
|Standard Chartered||Yes||Yes||Use Standard Chartered ATM, Debit or Credit card information to validate to get OTP sent via SMS, alternatively get
Temporary ID (Received via Email)
|Sterling Bank||Yes||No||User valid account number and Phone number|
|SunTrust Bank||Yes||User customer number, identification number, e.g., Passport or National ID card, date of birth and branch name|
|Union Bank||Yes||No||Use valid account number to get OTP via SMS|
|United Bank for Africa||Yes||Yes||Use Valid account number, use Debit card information to validate, use OTP to consummate instant transactions|
|Unity Bank||No||Not applicable||Download and fill form and submit at branch|
|Wema Bank||Yes||No||Use valid account number|
|Zenith Bank||No||Not applicable||Download, complete, and submit request form at any branch or via email|
TGIF but one last thing
I know the stories won’t hit the headlines but banks still get shafted, once in a while, by fraud. However, I’m very sure that the ease of onboarding, the rapidly ramping revenue from transactions and even the demand for modern banking would force everyone to be at parity within the next 2 years. Mark my word, time would come when the last bank to get onboard self-enrollment would be beaten up by the horde of irate customers.