Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Mobile Banking in Nigeria


Mobile banking is a service provided by a bank or other financial institution that allows its customers to conduct a range of financial transactions remotely using a mobile device such as a mobile phone and using software, usually called an app, provided by the financial institution for the purpose. Mobile banking is usually available on a 24-hour basis. Some financial institutions have restrictions on which accounts may be accessed through mobile banking, as well as a limit on the amount that can be transacted. Wikipedia: Mobile Banking
It may require an application (a browser or a stand-alone financial app), and/a phone to run access a mobile banking service.
In Nigeria, mobile banking services helps you start registration for a new bank account, obtain account balances, list of transactions, perform [[airtime top-up]], make [[electronic bill payments]], [[transfer funds]] between a customer's or another's accounts, etc. Mobile banking is aimed at reducing congestion in banks by rolling out do-it-yourself platforms that limit the need of customers to visit the bank for every transaction.
If you are a customer of any of the banks or financial institutions on this list then you have unhindered access to Mobile Banking. Chances are high that you have adopted it already. If otherwise, this piece is a concise introduction into its usefulness and why you should adopt mobile banking for your daily monetary transactions. This concept is loosely related to [[Mobile Money]] but not the same even though both concepts can inter-operate at a point.
Mobile Banking is aimed at reducing common banking operations at the banking halls by giving customers platforms to access various services for themselves while Mobile Money is aimed at reducing cash handling at every possible opportunity, comes with unconventional banking services such as e.g money transfer, pay bills, make payments, airtime purchases and more via a Mobile phone without necessarily having a bank account.

How Mobile Banking Works?


  • Own an account with the bank or financial institution offering the service. 
  • Have a valid Debit/ATM card linked to the bank account (some digits from the card serials may be required during transaction). 
  • By USSD: 
    • Make use of the correct USSD short-code relevant to your transaction and platform.
    • Use the correct code and follow the prompts, it is very easy and intuitive. 
    • Provide your card serial or PIN when requested.
    • You will receive immediate response and prompt on what to do next.
    • Confirmation of successful transaction will be communicated to you by SMS or email or both. 
    • Unsuccessful transaction will be communicated to you by directly and you will not be charged.
  • By App: 
    • Switching on the app will present you with intuitive menus with which you navigate to execute your preferred transaction. 
    • The response you receive might be through SMS or e-mail or both.
    • Confirmation of successful transaction will be communicated to you by SMS or email or both. 
    • Unsuccessful transaction will be communicated to you by directly and you will not be charged.
  •  Always remember to never disclose your card PIN to anyone, the best place to keep it is in your memory.


CONs:

  1. There is an impending issues of mobile security, banking apps tend to be relatively safer than services accessed through the browsers. However, it is still relatively safe. Technology will always have its own hiccups. Rootkits, mobile malwares, faulty app designs.
  2. Funds transfer from one bank to another using online or mobile banking could cost you around N100. 
  3.  Airtime recharge or account balance checking could cost you between N0.00 to N20.00 from across the various banks. 
  4. You cannot access the facilities without your debit card. Part of the card serial and PIN might be asked for. 
  5. At times, some mobile banking services may not be accessible without internet connection, most especially those rendered through apps. 
  6. Some banks do not charge for trivial things such as airtime top-up while others charge indiscriminately after transactions, this can be frustrating at times.

But wait!

PROs:


  1. Constant access to your data helps to detect fraudulent activities in the account faster so you can report for prompt action.
  2. Mobile banking transactions are relatively safe.
  3. You get to do whatever transaction you feel like by yourself at your own convenience.
  4. From my loose assumption, not necessarily a research, walking into a banking hall for same transactions would cost you nothing less than two to five times the amount charged by online or mobile banking (depending on your proximity to the bank branch). Also, you can't but spend some 30 minutes at least, of hassling around the hall, waiting in line at some ATMs or even inside the baking hall.
  5. It takes you lesser time to perform the same operation at the ambience of your room or anywhere with merely your phone than it takes the cashier to do it for you over the counter.

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