The days of having to reach the nearest ATM booth or a bank branch to make bank transactions are gone. This is so given the advent of more secured and less time-consuming alternatives as the use of USSD code and mobile banking apps.
With the advancement in technology comes the birth of more solutions, helping the people save time and resources.
In the banking sector, the use of mobile Apps has fast become a commonplace service feature, which is why it is hard to find a bank without the infrastructure to deploy the use of a customised mobile app to serve its growing customer base.
While mobile apps are now common features for banks, they differ considerably from one another in terms of technology and architecture. These characteristics can, sometimes, influence their performance over another.
For the purpose of this review, I explored the GTBank App, assessing its top features to see if it delivers on its mandate, as promised, to ease banking operations for its users.
For a bank ranked among the five leading brands in Nigeria, it is not out of place that there are lots of expectations from the public on how great and user-friendly its mobile app should be.
I personally would expect that it should be able to facilitate basic transactions such as sending of funds and the payment of utility bills without much bottlenecks from remote locations.
To ascertain this, I downloaded the GTBank Mobile app Version 4.4.4 from Playstore to test it, and here is my experience.
Before getting into details, it is worthy of note that the app has received over 26k reviews from users with an average 3.6 star rating.
Since its release on Playstore in 2012, it has grown from zero to over a million downloads.
For the first time and login, you will be asked to verify your device. I had to choose if my device was my preferred device. After consenting, I had to choose a transaction method between PIN or Token.
What is obtainable?
Being a new user, the interface looked quite different from what I was used to with other banking apps. Like other banks, the app served as another medium for the bank to express its corporate colour -orange. Very dominating.
Unlike the Firstbank app where you can see through top features (in dummy format) without the initial login pass, the case is different for the GTBANK App.
On the GTBANK App, gaining access to features comes after a mandatory login process. Quite easy, I logged in, landing me into my account dashboard.
My account balance displayed on the top right side of the app while the transaction history occupied the most of the page with a menu tab on the top left.
THE MENU TAB
From the menu, you can, amongst other deployable features, view account balance; manage/preview your transaction history; and initiate transfers to own account(s), GTBank accounts and also to other bank accounts.
Also, from the app, users can apply for loans via Quick Loans option; and use app dials to facilitate utility bill payments under the My Services option.
Trying out the transfer feature
I tried sending money into a third party account. And it turned out to be quite easy following the process.
To send N15k, for example, I selected Transfers from the Menu Tab on the top left. A list of options (containing To Own Accounts, To GTBANK, To Other Banks, Pre-registered Transfer) was displayed.
Since I was intending to transfer into a non-GTBANK account, I chose the “To Other Bank” option, and then selected my account as the originating account. Immediately, I was provided a space to key-in the account number to be funded.
After this, a drop down containing various banks in operation in Nigeria was displayed. I navigated through, selecting the bank name corresponding to the account number I had earlier provided.
My inputs matched. I could tell this seeing that the account carrier’s name was displayed against the account number. Then, I proceeded to fill in the amount and remarks (like a short note to indicate intent E.g. Laundry Fee, Pocket Money).
The app requested I enter my PIN again before I could complete the process. Although, I wondered why I needed to enter my PIN after having logged in successfully from the beginning, I figured, perhaps, to be double sure the user is indeed carrying out the operation and not just the phone automatically initiating steps. All Good.
Also, I noticed a feature that makes it possible for users to save up third parties as beneficiaries where one would no longer have to go through the long process of selecting new destination banks and corresponding account details.
With the Beneficiary feature, if I am to use, I will only have to select from an already saved account, enter the amount to be sent and finalise with my PIN. This can really make sending funds happen in 60 seconds or less.
Airtime and Data features
Back to the top Menu Tab, you can also pay bills, purchase Airtime and Data bundles for all networks.
With purchasing airtime, you only have to provide the mobile number, network provider, amount to be recharged, and mobile banking PIN. In 2-3 steps, you are done. The process is the same for Data purchase.
A feature I found highly encouraging is the Make Money feature. Through this feature, the app avails users who are looking to make extra cash the opportunity, courtesy of the Make Money window.
Without running a POS business, you can engage in selling of airtime and data to third parties for a commission. For example, an undergraduate looking for a side hustle can deploy his/her app to generate profit this way.
The bank offers a discount to anyone engaged under the scheme. To deploy this, one simply has to browse through the Menu Tab and select Make Money. The pop up will provide you with either data or airtime.
Searching for a bank name can be a task on its own, especially for banks like Polaris, Wema, Zenith or UBA with their first letters amongst the latter alphabets when lined up chronologically.
In my case, I transferred the 15k into a Polaris bank account. So, I had to go through the stress of patiently scrolling down to find it.
Can we have a search button?
I feel the app will be better if users can simply search instead of having to scroll down all the way for accounts not yet saved up as beneficiaries. The app development team may have to look into this. Technology should bring ease, not otherwise.
Also, I noticed the My Services option contained features that weren’t responding despite my repeated attempt to deploy them. Example is the Cinema Ticket option.
Has the app been forgotten?
Also, I learnt (scanning Google Playstore) that the app was last updated in December 2020. That, a financial app was last updated about 10 months ago is a major call for concern.
As a tech analyst, specialising in the review of ventures and products, this tells a lot about a company’s attitude to feedbacks from customers.
What this means is that a bug could be as old as 10 months without any attempt by the company to fix it. This is not encouraging.
As a matter of fact, to gain customer confidence and loyalty, venture owners must always keep in touch, updating/upgrading its services periodically.
It is one thing to promise users of fixing a bug, it is another thing to actually investigate and invest into the process. While the former is mere lip-service, the latter is the true display of commitment which should be the hallmark of a dynamic business venture.
IN A NUTSHELL…
The app is a good one. And, people looking for a banking app to effectively manage their account, initiate transfers, purchase airtime/data bundles, and pay bills can trust it to deliver.
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