The fourth annual edition of the Agusto & Co Consumer Digital Banking Satisfaction Index examines customers’ preferences towards digital banking platforms hosted by selected banks in Nigeria.
The Index comprises a survey and a scorecard, which ranks coverage banks based on consumer feedback. The survey respondents were a combination of banking consumers across demographics in Nigeria albeit with a focus on ‘upcountry’ sample respondents mainly located in Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, and Port Harcourt.
The results from our survey affirm the fact that the mobile banking application remains the most popular digital banking platform. The increasing use of mobile banking apps has also been backed by the growing base of mobile phone users estimated at 208 million1 people in Nigeria as at 31 December 2021. Nigeria has the eighth- largest telephone subscriber base in the world and is Africa’s largest telecommunications market2.
This position is upheld by increasing affordability of voice and data tariffs, regulatory reforms and consistent upgrade of network coverage. Also noteworthy is the increasing affordability of smartphones that is driven by the proliferation of relatively affordable phone brands such as Gionee, Tecno and Vivo. Furthermore, in our opinion, the prolonged ‘stay- at-home’ order following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a shift from legacy banking to consumers’ usage of various digital settlement systems available.
Other key findings from our survey reveal that respondents are least aware of WhatsApp banking and other virtual platforms with only 1% of our population indicating their subscription to this service. Security concerns, longer time to complete transactions and service charge for platform usage were the three major reasons cited for poor patronage of WhatsApp Banking.
Based on the digital banking satisfaction index’s parameters, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc recorded the highest user experience score of 49.9%, underpinned by comparably higher transaction success rates, ease of navigation and perceived security strength of digital banking channels. First Bank Nigeria Limited scored the second highest (46.7%) while Fidelity Bank Plc was a close third with a user experience score of 38.8%.
Transaction success rates, ease of navigation on the platforms and the quality of troubleshooting and IT support were strong ranking factors amongst respondents. Nevertheless, no bank was rated abysmally for their platforms reflecting operators’ substantial investments in digital banking technology in the past few years.
Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven an increasing use of digital channels and created an opportunity to grow transaction income across the various platforms. In addition to benefits to commercial banks, this has also provided the digital (neo) banks with an avenue for growth.
Thus, our survey reiterates the importance of improved customer service delivery and enhanced security across digital banking channels. Timely and efficient resolution of issues must be tracked and continually improved on. While bogus emails and other phishing activities which has become an inevitable global trend on the back of technological strides will require multiple layers of firewalls and other necessary mitigants.