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Jumping on the digital banking bandwagon

Jumping on the digital banking bandwagon

Although the world in moving into a more digital sphere, many people tend to be reluctant to take advantage of digital banking channels due to certain barriers and misconceptions.

Desery Van Wyk, Head Digital Products, Digital Banking, FNB Namibia Holdings said a lot more education is needed about the benefits of Cellphone, Online and APP banking.

“Once we talk to customers and show them the advantages, we found that they are much more receptive to these technological advancements. One of the primary benefits is the cost saving and convenience of being able to bank anywhere, at any time,” Van Wyk said.

According to her the lack of exposure and knowledge, customers are largely uncertain as to how these digital banking channels work, or how they can be accessed or set up. For this reason, Van Wyk added that it is important for the banking industry to educate, empower and equip consumers on the benefits of digital banking.

“There’s a misconception that digital banking channels are expensive compared to conventional platforms. However, banking via digital channels is significantly cheaper than transacting within branch and there are no traveling costs associated,” Van Wyk added.

She added that FNB, for example, focuses on selling convenient and affordable banking, while also offering free subscription to all of its digital banking channels.

Another barrier, Van Wyk added, is the fear and lack of trust some customers have in their own ability. She added that some customers have tried using these channels but find it too difficult to navigate them at first and are thus intimidated by the technology, making costly mistakes when transacting.

“Fortunately, technological advancements have enabled banks to create checks and balances for customers so that they can easily track their money and be more in control at any hour of the day. In addition, banks have attempted to make transacting as natural as possible on these digital channels,” Van Wyk explained.

Majorly, consumers also fear becoming victims of fraud, and Van Wyk said that this is due to a lack of knowledge and exposure to digital banking channels.

“Since security and privacy are of paramount importance, FNB makes use of many security features to protect customers. These include, monitoring the device being used to ensure that it is verified. If the device is not verified, only limited services will be available. Customers transacting via Online banking may be required to authenticate the transaction on their banking APP as an additional level of security,” she added.

Costs and access to smartphones also continue to be a barrier to some consumers due to affordability.

Van Wyk noted that digital channels allow customers to bank on the go through multiple devices of their choice and immediately reduce the cost of banking.

“With the world going digital, it is essential for consumers to take advantage of innovation and technology that has been designed to offer them the best value, experience and service possible,” Desery concluded.

Caption: FNB is constantly trying to innovate in this area, and empower customers to bank anywhere, anytime using the latest technology at affordable prices, Desery Van Wyk, Head Digital Products, Digital Banking at FNB Namibia Holdings said.



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The Economist accommodates two interns every year, one per semester. They are given less demanding, softer issues to hone their skills, often with a specific leaning to social issues. Today, many of our interns are respected journalists or career professionals at economic and financial institutions. - Ed.