Online Banking without Offline Annoyance

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!
Full Data

BankEnd-to-end self-enrollment?Self-enrollment allows transactions?Authentication method
Access BankYesNoValid account number to register; an activation code is sent to registered email and mobile number via SMS
Diamond BankNoNot applicableDownload and fill form and submit at branch
EcobankYesYesValid account number to get OTP via SMS
FCMBYesYesUse valid account number, use Debit card information to validate
Fidelity BankYesYesUse account number to get OTP, fill online form, use debit card information to validate, download a token app and start doing transactions.
First BankNoNot applicableCall FirstContact to begin registration or visit a branch
Guaranty Trust BankNoNot applicableDownload and fill form and then submit at branch for activation
Heritage BankNoNot applicableRegister online, print and take to branch for activation
Jaiz Islamic BankNoNot applicableDownload and fill form and then submit at branch for activation
Keystone BankNoNot applicableDownload and fill form and then submit at branch for activation
Providus BankYes Use valid customer ID, OTP sent via SMS
Skye BankNoNot applicableRegister online, print and take to branch for activation
Stanbic IBTCYesYesUse valid account number and phone number; set up secret questions, OTP is sent via SMS
Standard CharteredYesYesUse Standard Chartered ATM, Debit or Credit card information to validate to get OTP sent via SMS, alternatively get
Temporary ID (Received via Email)
Temporary Password (Received by SMS)
Sterling BankYesNoUser valid account number and Phone number
SunTrust BankYes User customer number, identification number, e.g., Passport or National ID card, date of birth and branch name
Union BankYesNoUse valid account number to get OTP via SMS
United Bank for AfricaYesYesUse Valid account number, use Debit card information to validate, use OTP to consummate instant transactions
Unity BankNoNot applicableDownload and fill form and submit at branch
Wema BankYesNoUse valid account number
Zenith BankNoNot applicableDownload, 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.

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Whether you are bootstrapping a small business, fought your boss and launching into the deep on your own or just side-hustling, there are some key things you need to do so people can take you seriously.
It could also be that you have a political activist group or running an NGO for orphans (I’m one, please help me!), you still have needs for certain work tools.
Having your domain name for your emails is sacrosanct if not people will think you are a joke. If you don’t think a custom domain email is important, trust me; you are probably a joke. But when Google Suite and others cost about $5 per user per month, being a joke could be less evil.
For small companies and NGOs, cash is always hard to get. And if you happen to be in Africa or especially Nigeria, many of the services you need: such as emails with your domain name, file hosting, etc. would be priced in US Dollar, something so rare to get these days. As rare as pink elephants.
Recently, while working on a project, I bumped into Zoho Mail, awesome email service but with a twist; there is a free plan!
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Years ago Google allowed anyone to create customer domain for up to 50 users free and then gradually reduced it until it became zero. This is how we host our email. Microsoft did the same thing with but bad belle people; they offered 500 users and then yanked everyone off!
By the way, if you are as vain as me, and you want your own [email protected] type email, Zoho Mail free plan will be OK for you, your siblings and your parents (if you still have them around). Being your family email administrator should make you relevant for the first time in your life; the feeling is awesome!