Monday, 11 May 2020

Software security limitations cited as major reason for Covid-19 bank rush

Following last week’s lifting of the COVID-19 lockdown in Abuja, Lagos, and Ogun states, one of the first things most Nigerians did was to rush down to the banks. As Nairametrics had reported, it was quite dramatic, as long queues formed in front of different banks in Lagos and Abuja.

In line with safety guidelines, the bank customers were prevented from entering the banking halls all at once. Instead, the banks ensured that only a limited number of people were allowed inside at the same time. As a result, the crowd outside the banks kept increasing. This was the case throughout much of last week.

The reason those bank customers risked being infected by the Coronavirus as they violated social distancing whilst standing in those queues, is as sad as it is disturbing.
During the month-long lockdown, many of them experienced various types of failed online banking transactions. This is why they stormed the banks in large numbers as soon as they could move freely again.

 Remote working made it impossible to assist customers
According to Mr. Mbanefo, a relationship manager in a bank (name withheld), working from home during the lockdown made it impossible to adequately assist customers who were having challenges. This is because many bank workers did not have access to some of the vital tools they would normally need to attend to such customers. He explained:

“One of the challenges of working from home as a banker is that there are lots of software that we use that cannot be accessible from home because of security reasons; not because they cannot be made available to us at home. For example, you cannot check people’s account balance from your house. So, even though the software to do that can be made available for us at home, it can’t.


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