On Google Play Store, some Nigerians are dissatisfied with their mobile banking apps

A top Nigerian bank was recently recognised with the 2019 best mobile banking app award at the Global Business Outlook Award. This is obviously exciting news for the bank. However, for some customers, who use the mobile banking app daily, this recognition was nothing but a publicity stunt.

Across the internet, Nigerian consumers are becoming more critical of the quality of products and services they pay for. As is the case anywhere else in the world, these customers simply want the right value for their money. And when they do not get that, they complain.  One of the places they complain the most is on Google Play Store, the online marketplace where android phone users download various types of apps.

It is important to note at this point that customers’ appraisals on mobile banking apps often go a long way in influencing potential new customers. A significant number of the young first-time bank account owners use these reviews as yardsticks to decide which bank is best for them. Since a lot of these young people grew up using different types of apps, they have high standards.

A common trend among mobile apps 

There is no Nigerian bank that has only positive reviews of its mobile app on Google Play Store. In other words, there are positive and negative reviews for all the banks, though some banks have more negative reviews than others.

  • One common complaint among all the banks is that their apps malfunction the most each time there is an update.
  • Customers are also concerned that their feedback might not be acted upon in order to improve the apps.

The most eye-catching complaints by customers 

Zenith Bank Mobile: This has been downloaded by over a million users on Google Play Store, indicating that it is indeed useful. The app has also received some 14, 191 reviews from users, with a collective rating of 4.1 stars out of 5-stars.

This is relatively good for the tier-1 bank, which is arguably one of the best in Nigeria. However, this is not to say that everyone is satisfied with the app. There are hundreds of complaints by users, including this one from Yinka Oluwole. On the 18th of November last year, he wrote:

“Can’t transact anymore since the last upgrade. All I get now is “Warning, Authorization failed”. I did not make any changes to my pin and neither did I lose my card, it just stopped working, and it has been really frustrating because that is my company account. I’ve called the HQ several times and been told it has been rectified, yet, nothing seems to work. Please, look into this.”

A moderator responded on behalf of the bank two days after the complaint was lodged. In the response, Zenith Bank blamed the issue on their customer support. The customer was also asked to send an email for further assistance.

First Bank Mobile: First Mobile has also been downloaded by over one million users who have collectively reviewed the app 23, 929 times. The app has a 4.2-star rating on Google Play Store.

While there are many flattering comments about this app, there are also some critical ones from some dissatisfied customers. Chukwuebuka Paul is one of such dissatisfied customers. On January 19, 2020, he gave the app 1-star and wrote:

“This app is nonsense. First Bank should scrap this app if they cannot come up with something good. You cannot even generate statement of account with this app. Providers should make it to be more self-serving. You cannot even generate statement of account through this app. The transaction history cannot say more than a week. What is the use of this app?”

There has not been a response to the user’s review. And going by similar comments by other frustrated users, it can be seen that the problem persists.

Access Bank’s mobile banking app: This has over one million downloads on Google Play Store. It has a collective 4.1 star rating after being reviewed by some 15, 085 users. However, not everyone is a fan. On the 17th of January, 2020, a user named Emmanuel Ndudo had this to say:

“With all the reviews I read and the nonresponse of the developers, I think this app is a great scam. I’m sceptical [sic]using it. Looks like a decoy developed by hackers. Can’t put no more of my details in this app. Something has to be done to restore customer confidentiality. I rather warn anyone downloading this app to be very vigilant.”

Just like he rightly observed, nobody from the bank responded to his rather harsh comment. In the meantime, Nigerians have continued to use the app despite all of its shortcomings. Access Bank should consider responding to and addressing customers’ complaints.

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc: This  tier-1 bank’s mobile banking app (GTWorld)  is top-rated on Google Play Store. The app has been downloaded over a million times and has garnered a total of 6,553 reviews. It also has a 4.2-star rating which is not bad at all. However, there are complaints which are hard to ignore.

Many of the complaints by GTWorld users have to do with difficulty logging in and inability to view their transaction histories. On the 28th of October, 2019, one of the customers, Doyinsola Afolayan, said:

“I can’t view transaction history. I have received money from several people and I have also transferred money but nothing is showing on my transaction history. Kindly help me look into this issue as this is the only way I can do proper reconciliation on my account…”

Although GTBank responded the following day assuring the customer that the problem had long been rectified, other customers made similar complaints days later. For instance, Chinwuba Oforka left a comment in November last year talking about how he had been “battling” to view his transaction history. GTBank did not respond to this particular complaint.

UBA Mobile Banking: This app has over a million downloads on Google Play Store and has been reviewed by over 32,000 users. It has a 4.2-star rating. However, Mathilda Bouem is not among those who gave high ratings to the app. On January 4, 2020, she gave the app 1- star and had this to say:

“Your app should be able to allow someone to see all their accounts in one place, for easy transactions and information needed. It makes no sense that to have a view of your account, it MUST have a card. Like I have told some workers at your Head Office in Douala – Cameroon, take example from the display and easy access *Ecobank Mobile App* gives. We don’t need to have bank cards registered to our accounts before we can access it on the Mobile App. Change it. Make it easy and appealing like *Eco*”.

There was no response from UBA concerning the customer’s complaint.

Ecobank Mobile App: Now seeing as  Mathilda from Cameroon really likes the Ecobank Mobile app, we checked to see what it is about the app that really pleased her. Interestingly, the app only has a 3.4 star rating after being reviewed over 19,000 times by the over one million users who have downloaded it. Many customers also have a whole lot of things to complain about the app, including Armand-Noel NIAVA who, on the 13th of January, 2020, wrote:

“It used to be a nice app but since the latest update, my savings and Xpress accounts are no more visible (unlinked?), avoiding me to smoothly manage my finances. Something also very annoying is that authentication is asked several times even when credentials are correct, but the action wanted is not executed… for example: clicking on “show my balance” asks for PIN code twice, but then nothing happens. This new version is of poor quality and very disappointing. Fix it or just rollback.”

This customer’s complaint received no response from Ecobank Transnational Incorporated.

Stanbic IBTC Mobile Nigeria: This app has been reviewed over 3,000 times by some of the half a million customers who have downloaded it. Altogether, the app has a 4.1-star rating which is fairly okay in the larger scheme of things. But there are complaints by displeased users. Qazeem Elemeje only gave the app 1-star rating and explained why:

“Of all the banks that I use, Stanbic Bank frustrate me the most. I’m already registered on the app. I lost it on my phone some months ago. To re-download the app is a great problem. I need to do a transaction to my creditors and I have expended all my data trying to download umpteen times but it takes all my data but will never install. This is so frustrating. I need to do this transaction today. Perhaps it’s not worth banking with Stanbic anymore.”

Note that Qaseem made this complaint on the 17th of December, 2019. That same day, Stanbic IBTC responded with profuse apologies, whilst asking him to send an email so he could be assisted.

Polaris Mobile Banking: This has been downloaded by over one hundred thousand users and reviewed by some seven hundred and twenty-six people. The reviewers have collectively given the app a 3.7-star rating. Folayan Sola Michael is one of these reviewers. On January 9, 2020, he had these unflattering things to say to the bank:

“It seems everything is wrong with Polaris Bank lately. You guys couldn’t even get things right with the app?! Imagine, I’ve been trying to register on this app since morning and it keeps telling me to try later…even till now (midnight). For Pete’s sake, can’t you guys just spring a little surprise and do something good for once??? Customer care; zero. App; zero. USSD; zero.”

The bank did not respond to Michael’s comment.

Union Bank’s Union Mobile: This app has been downloaded by half a million users and given a 4.1-star rating based on six thousand, six hundred and eighteen reviews. One of those who reviewed it is Engr Agunloko Stephen Omotayo. On January 23, 2020, he wrote:

“This app is showing two different account balances at the same time without convincing explanation!!! This is quite confusing and fraudulent.” 

Union Bank responded to this complaint, asking the customer to send an email for further assistance.

By all means, we have not mentioned all the mobile banking apps in Nigeria. However, for the sake of time, these are all we can mention for now. Is your mobile app among the ones mentioned above? Are you enjoying the mobile banking service rendered to you by your bank? Let us know in the comment section.

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