Digitisation of the banking industry
For many of us, stepping up to an ATM or hopping online to our internet banking is a simple task, but this is not the case for most of Africa.
South African banks have, over the last few years, been scaling back on their in-branch services.
Many branches were only satellite branches, offering a limited range of services. For many clients, visiting a larger branch is needed for home loan applications, for example.
The Pro’s and Con’s
The digitisation of online and internet banking has it’s pros and cons. In general, in SA and Africa, a shrinking workforce is one of the downsides to the system. Moving to efficient online systems, remove the need for human interaction and reduces the staff compliment. Some consumers enjoy the convenience of dealing with their bank online, but there are consumers who want to speak to a person.
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown a lot of benefits to reduce in-branch interactions. Banks Limited the number of customers in the branch. Banks now encourage consumers to transact online, and reduce the risk of infections.
This has added to their stress of the pandemic for older customers, as they were restricted in the movement already. Standing in queues outside branches added to the pressure.
Benefits to Online Transacting
The benefits of online transacting are evident. The convenience of transferring funds, making deposits, and payments all reduce time and risk. Getting consumers to trust the banking system in terms of accuracy, time-saving, and the possibility of fraud has been a challenge. There are still so many consumers who do not trust internet banking enough to switch.
The main issue with the online and self-service offerings is connectivity and fraud. In Africa, wi-fi and connectivity is still a challenge for most. This can only be overcome with access to wi-fi and education on the platforms.
Fraud is a significant contributor to levels of mistrust. Phishing scams regularly catch out the ill-informed and vulnerable in the communities. Passwords and restricted access are not high on their priority list, and this makes them easy targets.
Xpertek plays an integral part in facilitating the rollout of digital payment platforms to help banks process online payment files, dividends and salaries. Financial institutions and lending companies implement automated solutions to reduce fraud when managing their debtors book. Hopefully, alongside consumer education, this can make the banking experience much easier for future customers.
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