Author: Aaron Levy
Expounding the merits of digital banking
Last month, I received a cheque – I know very strange in this day and age. I therefore took my yearly pilgrimage to my local bank branch. I was dreading the queue that usually sweeps around the bank and out of the entrance door (ok… I may be exaggerating…slightly) to then finally reach the front of the queue and the cashier would greet me something like ‘the computer says…no…’ However, the deed had to be completed so I took a huge breath and stepped through the door.
How things have changed: modern branch banking
To my amazement, I was not greeted by a queue but rather a room full of machines! I stood still for a few seconds confused by the sight before me. Gone were the conventional cashiers at the desk, but a few assistants standing around to point customers in the right direction. One of these assistants (lets call him Henry) came over to me and seemed to read the confusion on my face and responded with ‘you can now use our machines for cashier services’.
I could have hugged Henry (I know cringe!) I was so happy – I banked my cheque in a wave of euphoria and was about to leave when I heard him say ‘Do you have access to digital banking?’
Entering the brave new world of digital banking
HUH?? Digital banking?? Ok, you might be thinking by now that I have been living in the dark ages – yes, maybe you’re right, under a rock which says ‘eighties baby’ but hey, I am making some progress – I am now using the self service check out at Tesco and I have an oyster card! Anyway, I digress…digital banking…Henry gives me some information about digital banking and sets me up using my account details and sends me on my way.
This last month’s experience of online banking has been fantastic. I no longer need to call the bank directly or visit a branch for a query; this is all accessible through the digital banking service. The mobile app is amazing – if I need to call my bank for any reason, there is a call sign in the app, which connects me to an agent who knows my details and assists me after confirming a couple of security questions. I must admit it is seamless.
Exploring the benefits of a mobile banking app
My Mobile Banking App is an aggregator; it gives me the ability to see all my accounts in one place, which is great. I am therefore able to monitor my most recent transactions, transfer funds between accounts and make payments to existing payees, after entering my 5-digit passcode. If I choose to take the backwards step and enter a branch, the app uses my location to find one nearest to me and throws in the bonus of locating cash machines. The app is built on a very simple infrastructure which, where you are able to tap the account you want to view at any time, with a simple back tab to go to the main list of accounts. The only thing I can’t do on the app is add new payees on my current account who aren’t already on my list, however it does give me the option to send money using the Payee mobile number. This, however, can be done by logging on using a computer with the Pinsentry device or mobile Pinsentry (which is on the mobile app). Once this is completed on the computer, it will show up on the app. I know it is so simple!
As this experience was so smart, I eagerly decided to try out another online banking experience (at my second bank) to try and ‘expand my horizons’ – big mistake. After waiting forever to receive my log in details, I found huge holes in its usability. After the fiddly log in process, I couldn’t even pay my credit card bill! Needless to say – that app was deleted.
Following my month of discovery, I have 2 questions; if I decide to upgrade my iPhone 5 to the latest model – will I be able to use my fingerprint for banking too? Why did I not discover digital banking before??