For many, electronic -banking (e-banking) is an idea that is largely embraced by elites. However, there are so many loose ends towards this and how it benefits the nation and the economy at large. Most of the financial providers, especially banks are now in the grind of sensitising their clients and prospects to the need to embrace electronic or digital banking.
This is one of the many initiatives that have got a lot of advantages when it comes to convenience, safety and a whole lot more pros associated with accessing banking services.
For starters, there are a lot of digital and electronic ways of banking, some of which include, the use of automated teller machine (ATM) cards, Visa debit cards, Internet banking and point of sale (POS) devices. These are the platforms that are mostly offered in our country and need to be encouraged by the masses to make use of.
Many a times, especially month ends and towards public holidays, most of the banks are usually filled with customers awaiting encashment of their funds. This leaves not only a lot of congestion, but come to think of the stench that comes from that irrespective of working air conditioners. This also puts massive pressure on the colleagues manning the counters and sometimes mistakes are inevitable.
This is one classic example of how most banked people have not embraced the electronic banking suffice to say that there might not have been enough sensitisation to the banked and prospects on the importance of adopting and using e-banking platforms. Most banked communities have access to ATMs, Visa cards, Internet banking and if only they appreciated the use of such, we would get away with the problem of congested banking halls.
However, there are some shortfalls that need to be worked on by banks if e-banking would be a success. Mostly it goes down to having a robust information technology (IT) infrastructure. Most of the planted ATM are usually affected by down-times which puts off users from even wanting to use the facilities. I do not want to give specific examples of such banks, but this is one of the problems that affects the banked masses and needs to be taken into consideration by the banks if their services are to be a success.
We have also an influx of PoS devices be it in shopping malls and hospitals and these too have been a disappointment. These machines are either dead or take too much time to respond and bring the issues of queues again in these places. These PoS machines are a good work of technological art and need to be treated as such, otherwise, we should forget about going cashless and embracing these digital electronic banking initiatives. On a lighter note, mobile banking seems to have gotten it right and is making strides in these initiatives.
Talk about Airtel Money and TNM Mpamba, these have perfected their platforms and making a killing out of this suffice to say that they have been fully embraced by the masses. It’s my wish that banks too must embrace such stability and robustness if electronic banking is to be a success.
The onus is now on the banks, including Reserve Bank of Malawi to ensure that there is enough sensitisation to the importance of embracing such technological advancements and how it affects or rather benefits the economy as a whole. It is also the duty of banks to ensure that their IT infrastructure is robust and has the capacity to handle such transactional volumes to avoid pertinent problems which are usually a put-off to most banked people.
Otherwise in modern age of technological advancements, it is imperative to go cashless and embrace electronic and digital initiatives in managing finances. n