Ever since the adoption of mobile banking, it takes me a very very long time to physically visit a bank. As a matter of fact, I only find myself in a banking hall if the transaction to be done can only be done in my physical presence or if it is a joint account that is in question – same thing really.
I remember there was this time that I had lost my phone for mobile banking together with my ATM card. The loss occurred in a week that I was expecting a deposit and being the lazy guy that I am, I decided to be checking my bank balance at the enquiries counter. I was surprised that enquiries alone had a worthy queue that kept me waiting for almost thirty minutes. At that time I did not ask so many questions; probably I assumed that everyone in the line except me needed services that they could not solve via mobile banking like requesting for bank statements.
Today I have read complains from customers of Equity Bank, Kenyatta Avenue, Nakuru Branch. Their problem is that instead of the normal eight withdrawal tellers, the bank was operating with only half the number. This has caused customers to wait in the line for more than twice the normal waiting time before being served.
Many will also agree with me that KCB is one of those banks you do not want to visit. KCB tellers, even when they are as many as two tellers per five customers, one would still take more than twenty minutes in the queue. This has however changed in several KCB branches ever since they introduced the Electronic Queue Management System (EQMS) to guide their customers. But in the branches that are yet to be graced by the EQMS, customers still have to wait for ages to get the services that took them to the bank.
Visiting several “high end” banks like the I&M, CBA, Standard Chartered etc, one hardly notices any queues. This does not mean that these banks do not have as many customers as those in banks like Co-op Bank, KCB and Equity (of course they don’t) but rather they have implemented a sensitization programme where most of their customers use Internet, ATM, and mobile banking – and opting to visit the physical branches only when the transaction cannot be virtually done.
As such I would like to suggest to Equity Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank and Co-operative Bank of Kenya and any other bank that have put customers to experience unnecessary queuing frustrations to implement a sensitization program that would see increased number of customers opting for mobile banking – if Internet banking is still out of reach for most of their customers.
For example at Equity, whenever a customer goes to withdraw any amount of money let’s say less than 30K or 50K (depending on place), they can be told that next time they can make the withdrawal via M-PESA or at the estate Agent. The teller can go ahead and demonstrate how such withdrawals are done. Same could apply to any other service that a customer has gone to seek at the bank branch that he/she could have easily received via his/her mobile phone.
Basically I would like to see a situation where most banks adopt tellerless banking (read: Tellerless Banks Branches with Teller Assist ATMs) by incorporating as much as possible mobile and internet banking options. This will mean that next time I have to visit the bank after losing my documents or to partake in that “physical presence” only transaction, I won’t be required to wait for more than 1 minute to be served.