Online banking enables the user to perform financial transactions through the internet. Online banking could also be defined or referred to as web banking or internet banking. The online bank provides customers with almost all banking services which would otherwise be available through the local branch; this includes deposits and online bill payments.
Internet Banking in Kenya
In 2016, the Communications Authority released a report that showed that Kenya had over 90 percent mobile penetration. In the same year, mobile subscriptions had increased from 38.3 million to 39.7 million.
Google’s Consumer Barometer, on the other hand, indicated that the smartphone uptake in the country was at 44 percent in 2016 which was an increase from the 27 percent mark that was recorded in 2014. These numbers are significant to the low prices of smartphones which have triggered a shift from feature phones that were dominant in the past.
The Communications Authority stated that at the moment there are now more than 26.3 million mobile money subscribers in Kenya. Similarly, more than 227.3 million transactions in mobile commerce have been realized and this was equivalent to 404.1 billion Kenyan Shillings worth of purchases that were made. This means that Kenya is steadily rising to become a world leader in mobile money use.
Consequently, internet subscriptions have grown by more than 8.2 percent which is equivalent to 27 million subscribers. The Kenyan internet users have grown to 38 million meaning that more people are going online and perhaps through inexpensive smartphones.
Improving Internet Banking
Most banks are embracing digital banking platforms so that they can deliver key services to their customers through a more accessible channel. However, constant improvements have to be instilled to avoid hacking and increase or guarantee customer safety.
1. End-to-End Digital Boarding
An onboarding experience starts when a customer applies for a new account and then engages with the relationship formed with the bank online. Even though the application process is digitized in all online banking applications, physical channels also have to be available in the process.
Most customer’s want to ensure security of their data (cannot be hacked), ease of data filling during the application process (auto-filling) and digital documentation abilities which will make the process simpler. For instance, a video introduction would simplify the application process and prevent against hacking practices. Furthermore, the safety of the customer will be guaranteed.
2. Provide a Multichannel Experience
Banks have to personalize their online banking applications so that they can meet the needs of every customer (this is also known as ‘optichannel’ experience). Optichannel finds an optimum channel that every customer can use for every engagement.
This is also a seamless integration that is realized between touch points. Very few organizations, however, can initiate the application process on one channel then ending it in another according to Mapa.
3. Emphasize on the Design Quality
Financial institutions have heavily invested in adding functionality to the mobile and online applications and this has led to an overflow of function-based platforms that do not address ease of use and design. Banks can invest in the design quality by:
· Launching a new online app
· Designing the functionalities in separate applications
· Introducing new interaction and navigation tools (voice, chatbots and so on)
4. Combining AI with IoT
Digital devices are now being integrated with advanced analytics that have revolutionized consumer banking. Combining AI with IoT could undermine online banking but also simplify the life of the consumer. For instance, Amazon has introduced Alexa to its mobile application. If the same is applied to online banking, customers will only need their voice to conduct basic banking.
5. Embrace Open Banking
Open banking positively ensures that non-financial and financial services are integrated to enable customers to access a range of tools that will assist them to attain their financial objectives.
Open banking is set to dominate the lifestyle of the consumer because it will cater to their non-financial needs by offering services that will ensure they remain loyal to the bank.
Financial technology companies like NLS Banking Solutions have solved payment challenges and eventually made life easier for customers of financial institutions. However, fraudsters still make endless attempts to exploit all vulnerabilities that may lead to compromising transaction security. This is why NLS Banking Solutions has integrated complex software solutions that not only emphasize on security but also keep up with technological innovations in mobile banking payments.