Digitalization is the future and it’s here to stay, there is no limit to what can be achieved through digitalization. Terminologies such as ‘Cashless’, ‘paperless’, and ‘contactless’ (especially during the pandemic), in short digitalization or more specifically ‘Digital Banking’, have become the necessities of life.
Yet, digital banking has been around for some time and it’s not a new trend, it evolved through customers’ experiences and needs. In the past few years, Oman has seen key digital transformations in Banking such as Internet Banking, Tele/ Mobile Banking, Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), Electronic Clearing Cheques (ECC), and banking via Mobile Apps.
Have Omani women played a key role in digital banking services evolution? What were their experiences in digital banking? Are their demands being fulfilled? Do these types of customers see any hurdle in digital banking? What are their expectations in digital banking? Do they have sufficient knowledge in technology and bank transactions?
Fatima, a housewife said that “Digital banking is a new concept to me. I am far away from technology. I don’t do online shopping, I always go to the grocery shop and purchase goods in cash. I have my local bank account with a debit card, but I don’t use it for digital banking”,
While Fatima might not be very confident in her skills in using technology, Jamila, an educated woman working in a professional firm indicated that she knows the advantages and disadvantages of digital banking, “Digital banking has made life easy for everyone, though some risks are there, like digital fraud and leakage of information.
Aysha, another woman in her early thirties, had a lot of opinions about her experience as a bank customer, “Digital banking means anytime and anywhere. I still can see some restrictions as I tried to make a local transfer from Bank A to Bank B at night, the transaction didn’t take place because of the time. I had to go to the ATM Machine to withdraw first from my Bank and then to deposit to the other Bank. I hope such restrictions get removed and I can do all my banking services digitally.”
Saleha, a fresh graduate who is a jobseeker, said “Digital banking has become one of the solutions for bank customers for monitoring the transactions. One of the advantages of digital banking and online shopping is saving time. If you don’t get what you intend to buy online while browsing the internet, you don’t regret it as if you go to the mall and didn’t find then, of course, your time was wasted”.
While talking to Salma, a housewife, about various digital banking services currently available, she was amazed; “I wish I knew the utility bill payment, transferring money and other banking transactions can be done digitally, it would have saved so much time for me”.
So while the current situation of digital banking services is still far from perfect and has a long way to go, the volume, customer experience, ease, and simplicity of digital banking services will continue making life easier.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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