Product Highlight: GTBank's Internet Banking Service

GTB's Online Banking Service - The Ease of Desktop Banking

By Investment Education Team
26th September, 2007

Healthy improvements continue to be the hallmark of Nigeria's banking system, with truly giant strides recorded in the last ten years. But no doubt, the most remarkable has come with the 2005 banking sector consolidation process. While great things have happened concerning the capital base of banks, the service delivery improvements should not go uncelebrated. Unless you can't think back to the era of terrible banking hall queues and tally numbers. Or, if you choose to ignore the time-saving value of stopping at an ATM machine, for instance, and without any interface with a bank teller that might be in a bad mood, you can easily access the cash you need and be off in two minutes, max. That's how life should be: progressive advancement, year in, year out.

Taking Banking Home and to Office
In the spirit of marking the advances, especially those achieved through the use of appropriate technology, we are spotlighting the desktop banking service - aka 'online banking' - of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, one of the leading lights of Nigeria's banking industry. GTBank's internet banking service is symbolic of many positive changes in the industry - especially the introduction of product and service packages that create value, facilitate business transactions and help users perform better in their personal and business activities. It must be stated that a number of other banks currently offer a similar service. We have use-experience with the GTBank service and choose to make it the focus of this product review. Looking back to the early days of GTBank (okay, GTB then), it must be stated that it has been one bank that set a lofty quality objective for its operations, right from the blast of the whistle. GTBank has never looked backed in seeking to deliver impeccable service to its customers, a goal that, within the context of our technology setting, has been well met. If you have enjoyed that service diet, you possibly want to take it home with you or right to your office, using the online banking service.

Online banking affords you the opportunity to link to your account(s) and some bank service interfaces, through your internet-enabled PC. If you have a desktop computer or laptop and access to the internet, you are set for online banking. For the GTBank service, it's not even a plug-and-play installation because there is nothing to plug. There is no set-up required at your end. You simply subscribe (free) to the service, get your access code confidentially delivered to you and presto!, you are ready to go. Just access the bank's web home page, click on the internet banking link and you are taken to the log-in page. Use the provided access codes to log in and you are right there to effect transactions on your account. And at the first use, you might as well change the password provided to you, just for more confidentiality.

What the Service Can Do
If you are in Lagos in particular, online banking, which could shave off hours of traffic log-jam from your day's schedule, will be an indispensable product, especially when these services are generally provided for free, at least for now. So, why burn precious hours going to the bank, if the transaction is one that you can easily effect sitting on your desk? Such transactions, for the GTBank's online interface, include:

  • Account Balance Enquiries. Want to just know your account balance? Yes, a lot of people go or send their reps to banks just to check account balances, possibly for issuing a cheque. That should be time saved: you easily check your balances online, with all your accounts listed individually.
  • Check Transaction Details. Perhaps you want to drill down to determine the details of a particular entry in your account. Not to worry, you don't have to queue before the customer care desk to have your account probed. Do that on your desk and thoroughly check all the details you want.
  • Full Account Statement. Full account statement for your account comes easy and at no cost per page. Simply select an account from the drop-down list of your accounts, choose the period you want it for (eg, 'This Week', 'Last Month', etc) and send. Your statement for the selected account and period is displayed. Change parameters if you want and see everything you require, just there on your desk.
  • Account Transfer Between Your Accounts: Move money when you want, perhaps to fund a cheque or to your interest-earning savings or for whatever other reason, without going to the bank or consulting bank officers. That's account management on your palm.
  • Transfer to Other GTBank Account Holders: Want to pay to another account holder, same process, provided you have the counter-party account number. Select 'from' account number, enter 'to' account number, input the transaction amount and submit. Confirm the transaction by accepting and that's it.
  • Pay Bills. Why go to the bank for utility bills that you can pay from your house or office. There again, lots of time saved.
  • Transfer to Non-GTBank Account holders. That's possible too, routed through the NIBBS interface.
  • Maintain Your Account Details, Rrequest Info on Rates: Want to know deposit rates. Or FX rates. Save your phone credit or fuel and get all that, right there on your desk. Change your password when you want to, all on your PC screen!..

Save Time and Money and Achieve More
So, unless for transactions that are not yet incorporated into the online platform, you really have no business frittering away valuable time to travel to the bank. And you help decongest our roads too! Many routine transactions can be effected from your desk. While the speed of the GTBank interface can do with significant improvement, the service does bring a lot of value which a user will appreciate, unless he has no value for time and convenience. If you love being in banking halls, that's fine and that's because you choose to, not that you must. Now you can bank from home or your office, if you have GTBank's online banking service. Or that of any of the other banks that have that service for customers.

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