As traditional branch-based interactions are increasingly replaced by mobile and internet based ways of consuming banking services one or two banks are well positioned to meet the expected changes.
The banks that will take tomorrow are the ones that have evolved to serve the needs of a new generation of banking customers while retaining the traditional strengths of their original identity. There’s no better example of this than the support that Access Bank has put behind PayWithCapture:
The PayWithCapture app was developed with the guiding philosophy of replacing the bank with a simple mobile app, and replacing your local branch with your smart phone.
The way it works is ingenious. Behind the simple mobile app is a massive network of services and automation tools that route the user’s simple screen-taps trough an array of web-services and application programming interfaces (API’s) to make financial transactions happen quickly and efficiently. It looks simple on the surface but there’s tremendous activity going on in the background each time a user presses an icon on the screen.
The resulting features are exactly what a typically busy, active, hard-working (and hard-partying) Nigerian needs. Unlike your typical mobile banking app, PayWithCapture works with all your bank accounts, no matter who your bankers are. This is a new idea – in a space where the traditional mobile banking application is tied to a particular bank, PayWithCapture feels positively liberating. It also works with all your debit and credit cards. This is the only app that does this. If you have more than one bank account the application becomes invaluable.
One of the coolest features of the app is the ability to form Ajo or Esusu-style saving clubs with a group of trusted friends or work colleagues. One tap of the screen and the app sets up the club and makes the deduction and the pay-outs on schedule. But the most disruptive feature and my personal favourite is the cashback feature which allows any user to walk into a merchant outlet and use it like an ATM to draw cash from the till! It just feels like the future meeting the past in a good way.
While the traditional bank branch will persist as a place for face-to-face encounters with decision makers the bulk of the interaction with bank customers will take place within the customer’s personal work and living space.
PayWithCapture is an excellent example of the way that African and indeed Nigerian companies are staying on the bleeding edge of technology and innovation, leapfrogging a previous generation of technology and erasing the advantages that western Europe and America once had while creating brand new categories that could not possibly have existed a decade ago. This new spirit of enterprise and endeavour has been growing. The evidence is increasing that we are becoming, as the campaign for PayWithCapture says, “truly illimitable”.
Written by Victor Okigbo