How can Nigerian banks start to improve internet banking penetration?

1. Improving the customer experience • Reinvigorate and refresh the bank’s web assets to prioritize ease of use, navigation and visual design; aim to simplify the number of steps to complete a transaction or add more robust capabilities that respond to their customers’ technological sophistication. • Introduce improved functionality targeted to specific customer segments such as corporate customers or SMEs who are particularly focused on security and the need for customized financial reporting and access to reliable, real-time financial data. • Harness employees as channel ambassadors and customer experience experts; banks should be encouraging their own employees to use online banking and suggest opportunities for improvement.

2. Reinforcing customer trust • Enhance customer awareness and online literacy by promoting greater awareness of online security through the various online banking touch points; banks must assure customers that every precaution has been taken to ensure the security of their funds while also explaining the importance of keeping access details safe. • Improve response time to fraud complaints; just 6 percent of survey respondents from Nigeria reported an experience of fraud but more than half of those said it took more than two weeks to resolve their case.

3. Ensuring customer accessibility • Provide 24 / 7 access to online platforms; focus on deploying the right monitoring tools to ensure 99 percent uptime on the online banking platform and allocate responsibility for uptime to specific staff members or teams. • Review the costs and fees associated with online banking platforms to ensure that they are reasonable in comparison to alternative options; make sure that cost does not become a barrier to online banking. While customer adoption of online channels may be slower than expected in Nigeria, it is also clear that momentum is already picking up. We believe that webbased banking will soon prove to be a lucrative brandbooster for those banks able to iron out the kinks and educate customers about the convenience and security of online banking.

While Africa’s retail banking customers clearly want better service quality, they also want better transaction processing times and information accuracy. As financial literacy programs drive heightened expectations around the information banking customers should receive, Africa’s banks will need to increase their focus on delivering fast, accurate and timely transactions across all of their customer channels. For many, this will require more than just new technology and tools, it will also require processes to be streamlined and optimized.

Second only to the quality of customer service, Africa’s banking customers care deeply about the speed, accuracy and completeness of their banking transactions. In fact, in 7 of the 18 countries surveyed, customers ranked executional excellence as the most important factor influencing their overall satisfaction with their banks. In particular, customers attributed the highest importance to the accuracy and completeness of the information (such as bank statements, advice slips and the calculation of bank fees) they receive from their banks. Yet while almost 90 percent of customers said they believed this aspect to be important or very important, only around a third of all customers voiced a high level of satisfaction in this area. Customers also seem concerned about the transparency of fees and account costs. “They make all the promises in the world to you, but as soon as you take the facility you start to see hidden charges that you were never told about,” noted one respondent. While regulators across the continent have certainly made significant strides – often supported by Customer Protection Regulation – banks will need to continue to take the lead in promoting fairness, transparency and responsibility. The reality is that customers are increasingly aware of their rights and bad perceptions can quickly become bad publicity.

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