They promised us an end to the much dreaded long-queues in the banking halls with internet banking, but sorry to disappoint, the long queues aren’t over yet.
Almost every bank in Uganda is offering some sort of either mobile or internet banking. The objective is to forever save you of waiting long hours in the bank — time that you could productively use elsewhere. With my personal experience of about three separate major banks, clearly Internet banking in Uganda is still very much in its infancy.
Here’s what you can currently do.
- Check account balance. This is the single most popular feature across most the banking platforms you’ll use on the market. If you can’t walk to the ATM machine, much more ask the bank teller your account balance, you can simply login to your account and find it out yourself usually at no extra cost.
- Money Transfer. You can also transfer funds to another account within the same bank. These in-house money transfers are usually free, but you need to consult your bank. You can’t move funds to another account in another bank yet. That requires you to line up in the bank and perform Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or Telegraphic Transfer for International bank transfers.
- Utility payments. Some banks offer this feature as part of their internet banking package. The most common utilities supported are Yaka and National water. This attracts a certain charge.
Bonus features depending on the bank might include; account statement printout, transfer money to mobile money account, forex rates card, customer care support, profile management. That’s it.
My experience with internet banking so far hasn’t been that great. The user experience is still very very wanting. Banks are very concerned about security — which they should so your money is safe — but at the expense of user-friendliness. So don’t get so surprised when your login credentials for instance don’t work the first, second or third time. In-fact, they might not even work at all. Don’t be surprised when you have to go to your bank just to reset your password. Don’t be frustrated when you receive false alerts in your email or phone. Don’t be surprised when you can’t use your card to shop online.
Have you been using internet banking yourself? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.