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Accacia Mall in Kamwokya boasts of banks with a 24/7 working time schedule.

Banks such as Exim Bank are redefining banking at the mall. The bank offers extended hours of banking. However, such banks are positioned for the high end. Low earning masses feel excluded. Their dreams are not vanished however.

Ssempewo, is a retailer dealing in cosmetics operating in Kikuubo, a trading hub in downtown Kampala. He had challenges of keeping his money safe not until he registered for mobile banking at his local bank. Ssempewo hooked up to this digital platform said, “I can now use my phone to deposit, withdraw and transfer money. I do not have to line up in long queues like I did, years ago.” Digital banking is a source of convenience to bank clients across the country. He no longer spends time lining up to cash in on certain transactions. All he needs to do is switch on his phone and all his banking transactions commence. This eliminated Ssempewo’s worries of bank discrimination.

The Ernest & Young Global Banking Outlook 2017 reported that 66% of bank customers worldwide preferred internet banking while a 60% still fancy traditional banking methods. The intersection prefers both. This number will continue to project with financial literacy that will enable Ugandans see value in banking online.

In business, improved customer experience is paramount. Indeed, banks have for many years tried to improve this through branch extension, air-conditioning and even smooth customer service despite the fact that bank relationships take long to build. But this has not helped as many flaws have been discovered in system. For instance, take Ssempewo’s example of bad customer care at one of the bank branches he visited. Such small pitfalls can yield a detrimental image for the bank that for many years has been one of the dominant forces in the industry. As luck would have it, digital banking is here!

With this, customers can now pay bills and other things digitally avoiding the standard banking red tape that has for many years tormented the clientele. Red tape makes Ugandans banking experience slow and labored. In just a few spaces of time, a customer can open a current account online, check their savings account balance and transfer funds to other accounts. There is no need for you to go to the bank, get forms and fill them, then follow them up for feedback, and so forth. These mobile wallets like CenteMobile enable customers to check their balances, get mini-statements, transfer funds within their comfort zone, the list is endless. These banks also offer online loan calculations for clients to know what they are in for, before partaking in the venture.

With smartphones’ Near Field Capabilities (NFC) features, customers can now initiate in-branch transactions using their phones. They are no longer entailed to line up in long queues or walk long distances to do their bank business all the time. Phew!!!! This is online banking at its best. Opening and maintaining an account has never been easy. “I can do almost everything I want from Stanbic using my app,” says Moses, finance officer at Alpha Enterprises who has taken digital banking on. “Pay bills, send money to my brother’s accounts, check for my bank balance and arrears.”

The Stanbic App for instance also enables one without a Stanbic account to create a digital banking ID and apply for an account through the app.

Customers will further enjoy benefits as banks have developed data analytics methods that are used to monitor and analyze consumer behavior. In turn, banks are offering services that suit customers without them necessarily approaching them to ask you what they want. Wasn’t it uncomfortable for a stranger to tap you and start asking you for your bank preferences? Well then that is no longer the case. Analytics is part of digital banking and this has reduced the upsetting scenarios.

Have you ever walked in town with Ugx 1m in your money pass during the wee hours of the night, or even the peak hours of the day? That feeling is very disturbing. You are always scared of someone noticing the thickness of the wallet behind your jeans or the swelling in one of your pockets. This will no longer be the case as there is no need for holding large amounts of cash. Digital banking enables you to keep the money in your account and still use it to clear transactions that you previously had to clear in the banks. When you lose your phone, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have lost the money for it’s on a cloud. Bingo! There is no need for holding large amounts of cash anymore. Why take the risk when online banking is available? “We have heard cases of people losing money in taxis and other public means,” notes a business analyst at Summit Business, “This will no longer be the case as banks are now giving people options to use their phones for transactions. First mobile money, now mobile banking. With the mobile money caps on total amount withdrawn, online banking should be our next venture.”

There is no need for you to rush to a bank to do your business before 5:00pm in the evening anymore. That’s the time 90% of Ugandan banks close business. Digital Banking gives consumers all the time they need to do their business. None of these bank apps closes after five unless you lose your internet connection or your battery powers down. They work overnight, during day and even on Sunday. “I can send money to anyone at any time,” says Margaret, an insurance adviser at ICEA, life assurance. “There is no need for me to schedule specific time in the day to go and do my banking. I can put my full concentration on my work during that time and still bank even at midnight.”

There is so much for consumers to enjoy in this digital migration era. Like other sectors adopted digital migration, for instance TVs, consumers can now access more channels with better quality picture. Banking sector is set to boost consumer experience in ways you cannot visualize.


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