The world is developing and transforming at great speeds today than yesterday. Breakthroughs in various fields of study and life are happening every now and then and if you want to be up-to-date then you need to evolve with them or get lost.
If technology were to be a company I’m sure it’s tag line will be making your life simpler, but I doubt some Ghanaians will allow a thing like that. Sort of prefer complicated to simple. We do not detest it, we embrace it but with a scornful attitude.
Some banks have introduced e-services like online banking, mobile app banking and digital teller banking to help reduce delays and to provide convenience for customer’s. I have seen a number of banks taking initiatives to force a change in how their customers bank. I’ve seen Standard Chartered Bank client service agents go round and talk to customers about their breeze mobile app. They help them set it up and demo the process to them. I’m sure other banks with apps have done same but we are adamant.
We prefer the old methods of payments and withdrawals. We look forward to walking into a bank with a big briefcase or Ghana must go bag (redenomination of the Cedi killed this vibe) to deposit or withdraw cash.
When you walk into a bank today you see long queues with people who wait for hours to get their transactions through. Some transactions will merit walking into the bank but seriously not when you want to withdraw just say 200 GHS ah ba! When you could have used the ATM for that. Ready for cashless? Well quite not.
Maybe some people are forced to go into banking halls because their banks don’t have ATM cards and online services or do they all offer that now? or these people don’t have the means to access the services. Well for some where it’s available there are charges for using these services, even same bank transactions and extra more when it’s interbank. Obviously no way to encourage people to take advantage of them.
In a conversation with a teller some time back I asked why they aren’t pushing and encouraging more and more customers to take advantage of the online and card services, her response was flat. “this people, forget, they wouldn’t, they don’t want change, they like it as it is, including joining queues and complaining as well”.
Against all odds where you have those who just wouldn’t budge, what do the banks have to do to drive them to embrace the new norm. Banks will be moved to take punitive measures like what Ecobank Ghana Ltd. Intends to implement starting October where when you walk into their banking hall to withdraw a cash amount of less than GHS ₵ 500 you’ll be surcharged an amount of 3 GHS ₵. It might not be enough to force people but Is this the way to go? Will more of such from each bank move their customers towards embracing the future?
Most people who even are inclined will have their own doubts about some of these services. How secured will banking online be? How sure am I that when I use the cheque deposit kiosk it’ll be seen and processed, what happens during downtimes, etc? Obviously nothing new goes without hiccups. It’ll take using it to find and fix flaws. More will definitely have to be done by the banks like stripping unnecessary charges and making more options available.
This is the way forward, the older folks might want the old but we are products of the tech boom, prefer making utility payments from the comfort of your home or office off your phone, tablet or PC. Look forward to walking around without cash but paying off stuffs with your card, want to walk into a bank? No problem there is one where you serve yourself over a PC, deposit at the ATM too.
What do you think of digital banking and Ghanaians? Long way or we are just doing things right?